Rishon L’Tzion: Talmidim with an iPhone Should be Thrown Out of Yeshivos


yyoIn his weekly shiur, Rishon L’Tzion HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef Shlita said roshei yeshiva must throw talmidim that have an iPhone out of yeshiva. He said this is the case with anyone that uses a non-kosher phone.

The rav acknowledged “the problem is that many do not adhere to our words. What can we do, can we beat him, call the police – there is no question one may not have such a phone.

The rav stressed that there cannot be any confusion, that he does not permit smart phones and non-kosher phones.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Daas Torah and Gedolei Yisroel from the Sephardish world, the Litvish world and the Chasidishe world all agree on this issue.

    It’s pretty clear the Gedolim know better than us biased phone-addicts who are unwilling to let those smartphones be pried from our dead hands.

    Time to wake up and smell the coffee, recognize reality and admit we are wrong and these treifphones are bad business for a yiddishe neshoma.

  2. For thousands of years students (of all cultures) managed to do quite fine without having an electronic device on their person while studying, and more importantly, without any way to be contact by their family. In an emergency someone would contact them through the office. It has been widely observed, and not just among hareidim, that students with electronic devices pay much attention to them and very little to their studies and lectures. Texting,emailing, talking, waiting for calls, social media, etc., even if “frum”, are a distraction to any students, whether in yeshiva or college or heder or kindergarten.

  3. I remember the psak of his father zatsa’l where he said that it is forbidden to throw out of a yeshiva a not for bad behaviour because “where will he go?” This is Dinei nefashot!

    Throw the iPhone out (it is easy to find their signal) not the boy

  4. IPhones and androids have parental settings to make them into Kosher phones. Teaching the Talmidim to use them for kedusha is the answer not throwing them out of yeshivas.

  5. #1:

    It is pretty clear that the “Daas Torah and Gedolei Yisroel from the Sephardish world, the Litvish world and the Chasidishe world” on this particular issue is addressed to individuals who satisfy ALL of the following conditions:

    1. They are talmidim currently learning in yeshiva
    2. In Israel

    The rest of us should follow our own personal Poskim, who generally permit the use of smart phones in other environments, particularly when they are needed for parnassah.

  6. The creator of the universe guided mankind to this wondrous wisdom and gave humankind technology a great gift indeed that truly was given by him and NO-ONE else.

    With all due respect instead of teaching people “Cold Turkey” why not teach them how to use the technology to make holy the name of Gd who gave us these gifts to BENEFIT and bring mankind towards its complete rectification as a whole ?

    Otherwise, stop using refrigerators, microwaves , computers CARS ATM-MACHINES ..etc etc ( ALL TECHNOLOGY CAN BE USED EITHER FOR GOOD OF ONES SOUL OR NEGATIVE OF ONES SOUL ) Its All In Our Hands and OUR CHOICE !!

  7. And this reluctance to embrace technology will enable the more modern dati communities to spread their Torah even more widely at the expense of charedi Torah. Just to give two examples:

    Rabbi Shlomo Aviner has published thousands of SMS text message responsa. Many have been translated into English by his students.

    YU has over a hundred thousand shirum online. I listen to them with my smartphone.

  8. To No. 9

    While I agree with you entirely that Rav Yosef is wrong on this issue, please explain how a refrigerator or ATM machine can be used for evil?? These rabbonim who try to assur the internet are fighting a losing battle and should get out of the way of a train that will run them over in the long-term.

  9. The Lubavitch Rebbe discussed these issues years ago (when tv was the evil thing) and how to deal with them and I can assure you he would have never have said to throw anyone out of a yeshiva.

  10. This is exactly the difference between the Yeshiva boys of past generations and this generation. Previous generations yeshiva boys were taught to use their knowledge of Torah to be strong enough to be a frum yid for their future in the world, whether he was a shoemaker, a dairy farmer, a wine maker, a butcher, a grocer, a banker, and some became Rabbeim and teachers. This generation however, has a crop of boys that has had more Jewish education than any time in our history as a Jewish nation, better than the Polish shtetles. The boys are educated from age 2 through high school in Yeshivas, even evenings with Mishmar, than Yeshiva to sit and learn from morning to night, yet the Rebbeim treat this generation as the weakest, they do not want me to come into any contact with anything that would allow me to show personal strength and self- control. They are sequestered completely, they are not permitted to work, not to have any profession at all, they separate the streets by gender, they never allow any of the boys to actually live a real Torah life that those in the Shtetle did or those of the parents of these Yeshiva guys did- we had to live a Torah life by demonstrating our jewish values and morals while going to work, while walking in the street, while dealing with challenges in the world, and we did it. Why are these boys treated like 4 year old children who have to be watched all day long and told what to do all day long?

  11. Lots of Chareidim have smartphones. When Rabbonim make unreasonable demands that people won’t follow, they only end up harming themselves and the rest of us, since people may not listen when they should.

    One example of why a smartphone is necessary, especially for someone who drives. If you get lost, without a smartphone your life could be in danger entering certain areas. Waze prevents that and you must have a smartphone to use it.

    I agree with #9 100%. Everyone has computers which is far worse than the phone and filters can be disabled.

  12. KoachYah : How is it that teachers throughout the world, regardless of religion, culture, or subject, are increasingly annoyed at students keeping their noses buried in their devices – and not since they are using the device to take note or to check documents related to classroom instruction. THIS REALLY IS AN “education issue” not at “Torah” issue.

  13. I can not find out what is wrong with the phones, but I can tell you what is wrong with some people who use phones and can’t stop.

    It is like every thing else in this world, it can be used for kedusha or tumah. It is not the phone, it is the person who is not responsible. Even worse, it is the crappy chinuch system that can not educate a boy to deal with the world and still maintain his place in avodas kodesh.

    Instead of branding the phone ‘not kosher’ let us be honest, the phone is parve, it is the user who can use it with kashrut or for traifishe. Like an oven, it can be used to cook kosher food or for cooking traif.

    It is the person, stupid, not the phone!