HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein Shlita in a recent drasha told talmidim at Ponevezh that there is no room in the beis medrash for today’s newfound curiosity regarding worldly events and one’s curiosity must be focused entirely on matters of torah, nothing else.
The rosh yeshiva spoke of the enormous amount of time being wasted by those who feel they must keep up to date on news and events, mentioning he is aware of talmidim who have set aside a kavua time daily to discuss “דברים בטלים”.
The rosh yeshiva of course mentioned today’s cellular telephones, the smart phones, demanding they are to be removed from the beis medrash and the yeshiva complex. Rav Edelstein explained that “even the kosher phones” are an intrusion since they permit speaking at all times and this interrupts the seder limudim and therefore, the phones represent a yetzer hora of בטלה, wasting time, and therefore, one may not bring them into the yeshiva.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)