Rosh Yeshiva Pasuls Witness at Chupah Because of iPhone


The preparations for the chupah were proceeding without incident. The rabbonim were meeting with the chosson and family members in preparation for the event on Monday night the eve of 17 Elul 5772 in Jerusalem’s Armonot Hall. As the kesuva was being written, Rabbi Yosef Ze’ev Feinstein, Rosh Yeshivas ‘עמלה של תורה’, the mesader kedushin, asked to meet the Eidim (witnesses). He asked them to see their cell phones. One pulled out a kosher phone. The second an iPhone. The latter was disqualified as a witness.

Needless to say the witness was shocked but the rabbi was not about to enter into a discussion over his ruling.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Would he have refused to be mesaser kedushin had the chosson pulled out an iPhone as well? I think this is outrageous. No wonder so many young guys and girls are going otd nebach.

  2. The only significance of witnesses being pasul is that, maybe, according only some opinions, the woman doesn’t need a “get”, and then only probably if the alternative is for her to be an “agunah.” Frankly, I doubt any Rav would ever consider a marriage void because of an using a cell phone from one company or another. Since this is obviously a wedding of Bnei Torah, this should be seen as more of a political statement than a halachic statement.

    Being “fanatic” about one’s own wedding is fine, but this is totally irrelevant from the perspective of discussing halacha.

  3. It’s pretty sad that its virtually unkown that an iPhone can be made into a kosher phone via its settings. It’s a shame that fact hasn’t been investigated by the community being it can be an amazing resource to yidden on the go.

  4. What’s there to say……? B’H we’ve come to the point where we are such Tzadikim that only the mere possesion of an iphone is enough to decide tzadik or rashah. There must be an App for that.

  5. This is the type of leadership that we need. Someone who actually carries out the ‘takonos’ that are in place. Not someone who uses the ‘extenuating circumstances’ clause.

  6. This is the second such incident recently and I haven’t yet figured out why this “crime” is worse than what some other witnesses do which Al pi halacha make them really posul and than not to even ask the guy if there’s even a reason he has it. I guess some people who have the moment when they can feel like their big rabbonim because their being mesader kiddushin they start thinking that they have to be mechanich the world maybe they should start minding their own business and being happy that they aren’t the witnesses because their probably also posul

  7. Wow!

    So how many marriages happening today around the world are not valid according to the learned Rosh Yeshiva? A large percentage is my guess.

  8. I would never deny anyone their chumahs, and had he told the couple before the wedding that he would not accept a witness that has a smartphone, well, that’s his decision and the couple’s choice whether to proceed with him as mesader kedushin. But to embarrass the potential witness in public like that? I just don’t understand. It has me extremely upset.

  9. Well, Kvoid HaRuv Yosef Ze’ev Feinstein, this week Beis Ha Mikdosh wasn’t rebuilt, and very very probably it is partially your fault.
    I don’t see how holding a non kosher phone can be worst than your act (Malbin Pnei Chaveiroi).

    Deeply Sorry.

  10. I am very curious on wich se’if in the Shulchan Ourech that psak comes from,he is not a mechalel shabes befresie. Malbin pnei chaveroi berabim is far worst. Is that rav taking money for the Yisheva from people who have a I phone??

  11. I’m disappointed that YWN would print such a story without asking the Rav involved or someone close to him why he did this.
    All posting this story accomplished is riling people up to make fun of a Rav and further knock daas Torah.

    I really dont know who makes decisions at homebase of YWN but you do realize that the yom hadin is coming up and all the stories and comments that show up on your website will be included in your din. what are you going to say to Hashem for all the loshon hora, rechilus motzi sheim ra leitzanus bizuy talmud chacham and what ever else that you allow on a regular basis?
    Please stop being a platform for every tom dick and harry to spew hatred against Rabbanim and Torah.

  12. According to the article, he did NOT say that if person with the illegal phone was an Eid, the woman would be free to be marry someone else without a “get” – that is what saying someone is “pasul” le-eidus means. In a modern frum wedding, being an “eid” is an honor, a kibud – it really isn’t part of whether the wedding is valid (as is often the issue when a frum rabbi conducts a wedding for frei Jews and needs to use pasul eidus since such people don’t take marriage so seriously and we don’t want mamzerim to result).

  13. What about the two serious issues here of embarrassing the witness and the party who asked him to be a witness and secondly what about the distress this must have caused the chosson and kallo and their families. It is quite a job deciding who should get the kibbudim and a lot of thought goes into it. Many, yes many, well knwon Rabbonim and Rebbes have not jumped on the bandwagon of forbidding everything that moves or rings and if Reb Witness was following the psak of his Rov who is Rabbi Feinstein to make a fool of him? Note to pre-notified witnesses: give your wife your phone until after the chupa then tell the presiding Moron Rosh Hayeshiva Shlita you don’t have a phone on you.

  14. “The rabbi was not about to enter into a discussion over his ruling.”

    Real crack reporting there. Has anyone heard about this from a reputable source?

  15. amen daas belabatim – public humiliation over some far fetched, man made (altho i think it is ALL manmade, but even by your definition) “takana” – sheer stupidity

    I guarantee you can make yeshiva donations or tuition thru the iphone.

    mammish ah beezayone

  16. oy lanu!! I’m sorry but WIY (#23) is the only sane voice here! This is total loshon hara against a gadol b’Torah. This whole “incident” was reported as “facts” when in truth we have no idea of what truly happened, nor nor do we know the Rav’s reasonings behind it even if it did happen. Titbayshu Yehudim!! Let’s practice using our muscles of “dan le’chof zechus” and we will ALL be a lot better off!!