Priorities warped on Haredi websites?

I was looking for an article in either the Yeshivah World News or in Matzav for some coverage of the faults identified in the Royal Commission into abuse. Both of these publications are hardly pro Chabad, and yet, unless I missed it, I failed to see a single mention. That of itself, if I am correct (and I’d be happy to proved wrong) is an inditement on the Haredi world, where Chabad is considered on the left fringe anyway.

In what way is this not news? Why shouldn’t Haredi readers know about what is public knowledge? It’s simple. They deal with their problems “in-house”. Here, I don’t mean the Rabbi Groner approach of seeking out experts and not being aware that the proclivity might be described as a disease. No, in these communities nothing at all has changed.

And yet, sorry folks, if you are a Litvak, I am Posul as a witness according to the following from YWN

Maran HaGaon HaRav Aaron Yehuda Leib Shteinman Shlita spoke out regarding persons using iPhones, stating they are pasul l’eidus.

HaGaon HaRav Moshe Yehuda Schneider tells of the gadol hador’s words in the weekly Pri Chaim publication. He explains “we merited hearing Maran’s opinion regarding iPhones, the impure device, and I am presenting these words after Rabbeinu questioned regarding a bochur that R”L fell victim as a result”.

He begins by stating the Rosh Yeshiva was made aware of the high cost of such a phone, resulting in his response that it is quite costly to sin and people are willing to pay a great deal of money – the main thing is to sin. He adds that a good esrog is less expensive and when he heard one person say that one who spends so much on an iPhone will not buy an expensive esrog, Rav Shteinman stated this is not necessarily so, for there are those who will pay for an esrog, as well as for an iPhone l’havdil.

Rav Shteinman was informed that HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Halevy Wosner Shlita ruled one who possesses an iPhone is ‘pasul l’eidus’ as Rav Wosner disqualified a witness at a chupah when learning of his phone. Rav Shteinman stated “The Klall is a prohibition that incurs malkos renders one pasul from d’oraissa and a prohibition that does not incur malkos only pasuls d’rabbonon. Hence, one with an iPhone is pasul from eidus d’rabbonon since malkos are not involved here.

This reminds me of the farcical situation when Rabbi Benyamin Wurtzburger, Rosh Kollel of the Lakewood Kollel who was Mesader Kiddushin at a wedding, publicly attempted to make Dayan Telsner, Pasul as a witness, because of his contention (which is probably correct) that Dayan Telsner is a Meshichist. Ironically, phone calls to Rabbi Beck from Adass to Wurtzurger were needed to make him understand that one is not Pasul for having some far-flung view, which is out of touch with the Rambam and Mesora.

Where are our priorities? Will Rav Shteinman be happy with cheap Samsungs or HTC or ? Does have the remotest clue what the difference between this is?

Rabbi Wurtzburger seated left, next to Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Groner

 

Twisting, turning, Askonim using Gedolay Yisrael

The following made the rounds. Of course, most reported them irresponsibility and with the usual anti Jewish venom. Some salient points.

  1. This is not a letter from R’ Chaim Kanievsky
  2. It is from a Charedi organisation that sets itself up to “purify” communication. It  has an agenda, and will never tell you about a Rav who has no problem with proper use of an iPhone
  3. There is a footnote which is their own fodder for the masses and can be misread to be the words of R’ Kanievsky.
  4. Even if this is true, R’ Kanievsky isn’t making decisions for you and I. A Rav paskens (if he did indeed pasken) for the people in front of him. Frankly, those people aren’t looking for a Psak at all. They are simply look for another bazooka to hold at people’s heads
  5. Anyone who extends the use of such a letter to the “conclusion” that wedding witnesses or mikvah ladies who use iPhones are Pasul even B’Dieved, doesn’t need a Rabbi; they need therapy
  6. There are plenty of Av Beis Din’s around the world who use smartphones.
  7. This has nothing to do with phones, it’s all about the improper use of the internet. Who has an argument with improper usage? My iPhone contains more Shiurim than I have time to listen to.
  8. Of course, toilet blogs like Scott Rosenberg’s blog and others, breed piranhas using such stories. They are irresponsible.
  9. Rabbi Kanievsky defers to Rav Shteinman anyway (the latter of whom isn’t a Posek of note, unless I’ve missed his Tshuvos)
  10. They neither live, nor know about my world, and simply don’t have the information required.
  11. I didn’t ask them for their opinion, and am not obliged to do anything with their letter.
  12. A Rosh Yeshiva is not a Posek anymore than a Posek is a Rosh Yeshiva
  13. There is no such thing as Daas Torah anyway. Speak to your Posek when you have a Shayla. That’s the way it was and ought to remain.
  14. End.

KanievskyiPhone