Rosh Yeshiva Pasuls Witness at Chupah Because of iPhone

(Tuesday, September 4th, 2012)

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)

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  1. YonasonW says:

    “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.” Spiro Agnew

  2. MorahRach says:

    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.

  3. akuperma says:

    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.

  4. 2pence says:

    Utter shtus

  5. laizerwolf says:

    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.

  6. Peace Outside says:

    This will probably become the normal procedure soon.

  7. GeshmakMan says:


  8. joldan says:

    Is someone pasul eidos for not being a mensch?

  9. bpboy says:

    I’m very curious if this rosh yeshivah will ask me 4 my phone before he takes my check

  10. avreimi says:

    What halachic basis did the Godol have for his action?

  11. brooklynhocker says:

    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.

  12. voseppes says:

    Can someone please explain this ruling in the light of the Shulchan Aruch?

  13. Yatzmich says:

    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.

  14. brisker35 says:

    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

  15. daddeutsch says:

    Thank G-D, we now have our own Taliban…

  16. voseppes says:

    I am not questioning it. I just want to understand it.

  17. bklynmom says:

    That is ridiculous.

    Why not check if they pay Arnona? taxes?

  18. Savlanut says:


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

  19. NowNow says:

    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.

  20. baron says:

    that is cute.

  21. yitzchok-aizik says:

    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.

  22. daas balebatim says:

    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??

  23. WIY says:

    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.

  24. akuperma says:

    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).

  25. avreimi says:

    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.

  26. Joe Yeshivish says:

    What about those who use the Eruv in Brooklyn?

  27. kaveh says:

    “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?

  28. Just Smile says:

    Maybe he just liked Android better?

  29. msrina18 says:

    how does the rov know the difference in the phones????

  30. OhTeeDee says:

    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

  31. Git Meshige says:

    I wonder if a donor that donates substantial sums to his yeshiva, is also asked what phone he uses prior to donating

  32. apushatayid says:

    Agree or disagree with him where is the siman in shulchan aruch that allows for the ridicule of the Rosh Yeshiva?

  33. pokin says:

    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!!

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