Orthodox Judaism/TV Online

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Question
Hello,
I understand that watching TV in general is not so Pashut, but I was wondering if it is allowed to watch TV shows (or movies) online? Is it considered stealing to do such things, or is it completely permissible?

Thank you.

Answer
David,
Thank you for the kind question. There is no prohibition in Judaism against watching TV, via cable, antenna, Internet or otherwise unless:
1) it is done to excess,
2) it is done to the exclusion of more beneficial or required activity (prayer times, Torah study),
3) it is done on Sabbath or other yomin tovim,
4) it is pirated, stolen, etc, even if the person watching it did not do the pirating,
5) it's contents are lewd, illegal, overly suggestive or violent.

Some rabbinim may have other standards for their community which are binding on the members of that community. This would also apply to a parent's ruling when the watcher is under 18 or continues to live in the parent's home.

Hope that helps.

G'mar Chatimah Tovah

Orthodox Judaism

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