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R’ Kanievsky on Accepting Eidus from an iPhone User


Rabbi Aaron Feinhandler, who heads the Vaad for Clean Communications, recently visited HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita in the presence of the gadol hador’s grandson, Rabbi Aryeh Kanievsky.

In his letter, which is not dated, published by Kikar Shabbos, R’ Feinhandler quotes the gadol hador saying that anyone with an iPhone or similar device with open internet access is pasul to serve as a witness in keddushin and divorce. If such a person was a witness, then the keddushin or get must be done again, even b’dieved.

The letter continues to pasul persons responsible for certifying mikvaos for women, adding that in cities like Yerushalayim, many if most employees of the local religious councils carry a smartphone, so this is quite problematic for the gadol hador is quoted disqualifying such a mikve for women. The same holds true for many employees of Chief Rabbinate of Israel Batei Din around the country, as well as chareidi batei din.


(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

31 Responses

  1. i dont understand, so what is the end result? on one hand its saying that whomever has a iphone is posul to… and then it says that lots of people have it and it will be a problem, so whats the end result of this??

  2. I cant believe how foolish this has become. The real avla is that the Gadol Hadors “handlers” are making a joke out of him and halacha!

  3. first it does seem odd that there is no date
    second , sad to say anybody can make a paper and put a fancy letterhead on it and say what ever they want.

  4. I guess child molesters and crooks are ok. The phone is the problem. It’s getting harder and harder to take any of these things seriously.

  5. I would assume this means unfiltered and not filtered. Either way I think that somebody with seichel and not an axe to grind should explain to Rav Chaim that it is the internet and not the phone that is the issue and how this really works. I dont believe he is given accurate info on this matter.

  6. How many YWN readers are reading this article on some sort of smart phone? This comment originates from a desktop PC. What’s the difference?

  7. #12. At issue was more the internet, then the smart phone itself, since internet access on the phone is the real issue, therefore, everyone on these web sites fall into the same category, even if they have a “kosher” phone.

  8. sli barry it is very hard to take you seriously rav chaim knows a lot more halachah than you do and ppl who have a smartphone that is unfiltered is a much more widespread problem then crooks so yes that is why it is a greater problem becuae almost every1 in america has one and too mnany of them are unfiltered so it is a bigger problem because the rav says u are posul l’eidus

  9. barry one more thing you are assuming everyones internet acess on their oc is unfiltered you are wrong mine has a filter andd a whitelist and all photos are blocked yes every photo on this website is blocked

  10. קידושין כח א:
    תניא הקורא לחבירו עבד יהא בנידוי
    ממזר סופג את הארבעים
    רשע יורד עמו לחייו
    רש”י: וניחא ליה הא מנידוי.לאומנתו.

    תוספות (ד”ה ‘הקורא’): הקורא לחברו ממזר – הוא אמר שחברו עבר בלאו, לפיכך סופג את הארבעים כדין עובר בלאו.
    All the aguda askonim tgst take pictures with all the gefolim during yarchei kallah as if they were characters in Disneyland should instead let them know what people say in their names and then prople might start respecting the gedolim again . No gadol including reb Chaim would say such a thing.

  11. Seriously. There must be handlers feeding him the info they want him to know, and only that info. That’s if he even ever really said this. This absolutely smacks of the “something is missing from this story” syndrome. I think somebody better tell Harav Kanievsky and the other Gedolim (who I must emphasize I completely respect) that using the same reasoning, anyone who goes in to Tel Aviv or Manhattan is Passul l’Eidus. Same issues with Shemiras Aynayim, or actually worse. If you turn your head so as not to view strategically placed mile-high billboards, you will careen off a highway! There go all the Satmar demonstrators! Heh, heh…There go all the generous benefactors of Torah Mosdos!!!

  12. Until we see a letter signed by the Gadol himself we can consider this a fraud. In the past Gedolim had to deny that such letters were authentic nor written on their behalf.

    On the other hand, if this is true, thousands of Jews have invalid marriages,Gitin, and numerous Mamzerim have been suddenly created.

  13. What does Rav Chaim shlit”a know about an smartphone? Obviously this guy telling him an iphone is x, y and z, will make Rav Chaim feel a certain way. Stop wasting his holy time with your nonsense!

  14. היכי הוו עבדי רבי יוחנן ורבי אלעזר דאמרי תרוייהו ראיתם טריפה הרג שלם הרג אמר רב אשי אם תמצא לומר שלם הוה דלמא במקום סייף נקב הוה בבועל את הערוה היכי הוו עבדי אביי ורבא דאמרי תרוייהו ראיתם כמכחול בשפופרת ורבנן היכי דיינו כשמואל דאמר שמואל במנאפים משיראו כמנאפים:

    This פסק would made it easier for רבי יוחנן ורבי אלעזר

  15. Its one think to assur a Lipa concert….it somthing else for someone supposedly speaking in the name of a respected rav to attribute a shita which would in the stroke of a pen create tens of thousands of mamzerim within the chareidi tizbur, shut down most of the public mikvahs in EY and create overall havoc. I checked the calendar and its definitely not Adar so this is most definitely not a purim shpiel. Its mamash an illustration of the inmates having taken over the asuylum except that this kind of stuff seems to go on all too frequently. Let Rav Chayim, shlita, himself publicly issue a psak din if this is truly his feeling and stop these games of having admorim speaking through their gaaboim as quoted by some askanim (or do I have that reversed)?

  16. this all reminds me of the issur of human hair wigs from India that R. Eliyashuv put out many years ago when many pious women burnt their wigs fearing avoda zora.

    It turned out that the person responsible for collecting the info on the wigs did not do a thorough investigation causing a perversion of the p’sak halacha.

    Many expensive wigs were needlessly destroyed because of the fellow who was too ‘religious’ to actually find out that the human hair was not part of avoda zora. Needless to say no apology was ever printed and women got back to wearing wigs.

    I think the same is true here. I think the problem is two fold:

    1. the ban is intended for the yeshiva bochrim who should not get involved in bitul torah and triefes.

    2. the chinuch does not stress enough the necessity of the individual to govern himself when he goes out into the world, adarabah, the chinuch in EY stresses not going out into the world to work etc.

  17. lbj, you can put all the filters you want, but just as you put it on, you can remove them, if that’s your inclination. If you didn’t have the internet at all, you wouldn’t have that ability, so make all the excuses you want.

    I do have a smart phone. I use the internet aspect of it to look up the bus schedule or how to get some place. It makes life a little easier. It also means that I have a luach and a Siddur with me at all times. How terrible! You can use something without misusing it. You can also disable your filters and misuse it all you want.

  18. Notice the letter is NOT signed by R’ Kanievsky, but rather someone who claims to have asked him. Someone who heads up the “Vaad of Clean Communications”. I do not wonder what the Vaad of Clean Communications sells. But, I’m willing to take a risk and guess that it’s a product that the Gadol Hador does approve of.

  19. Feinhandler? Fine Handler? Is this a joke?

    If it is true that Rav Kanievsky gave this psak, potentially instantaneously converting large numbers of Torah abiding Jews into mamzeirim – a category that they cannot escape for generations – then this Feinhandler did us a great service in demonstrating exactly how finely handled our gedolim can be.

    Or perhaps this is a hoax, and this gentleman is demonstrating just how finely handled the “hamon am” can be.

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