Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Kislev 5765 - November 24, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Rabbinical Committee Arranging to Provide Content-Free Cell Phones

By Betzalel Kahn

In response to efforts by the various cellular companies over the course of time to expand the cellular contents services available, gedolei Yisroel, headed by Maran HaRav Eliashiv, set up Vaadas HaRabbonim LeInyonei Tikshores to address the problem and the spiritual havoc being wreaked. Through the content offered by new cell phones, the public is exposed to severe spiritual harm that has caused damage beyond description. Many parents and educators are distraught at the sight of all their efforts to educate children in purity going to waste when children and young adults fall victim to the lure of cell phone communication content.

Vaadas HaRabbonim is currently studying the problem and meeting with cellular company representatives and communications experts to discuss both the economic and legal aspects involved in making available a device that allows conversation alone. Once the information has been gathered and processed by the committee it will be brought to gedolei Yisroel for a final decision on implementing the plan. In the interim period the committee has issued several directives to the public (see "Public Announcement").

As a solution is being hammered out, the committee members paid a visit to HaRav Shmuel Halevi Wosner, gavad of Zichron Meir in Bnei Brak, who has issued cautionary statements regarding cell phones in the past. He received them graciously saying, "This delegation sitting here, whose members were known to me before, acts with integrity and truth, and thus its efforts will definitely bear fruit, besiyato deShmaya. Do not desist in this holy endeavor, for this problem has numerous detrimental effects in general and spiritual problems in particular."

He also said the issue should not be publicized as merely a news event, but rather should be made known widely to alert the public to the dangers lurking in cellular phones.

The committee members also visited the home of HaRav Tuvioh Weiss, gavad of the Eida Chareidis in Jerusalem, providing him a progress update. HaRav Weiss expressed his dismay over the spread of the malady, saying in his droshos he has already warned the public to avoid the use of cellular devices.

"I have already warned the public about this peril, which is liable to destroy the holiness of the generations," he said. "It cannot be that during Sholosh Seudos an avreich or bochur hears divrei chizuk vehis'orerus during a droshoh and right after havdoloh he is already busy with his cellular phone with all of its dangers."

He said parents and educators should be informed in the clearest possible manner about the great danger cell phones pose, adding that when the plan is implemented, be'ezras Hashem, a widespread information campaign should be waged, asking roshei yeshivos, mashgichim and yeshiva managers, as well as rabbonei kehillos, to stress the importance of the reform.


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