Maran HaRav Shteinman: iPhone Users are Pasul L’Eidus


shtMaran HaGaon HaRav Aaron Yehuda Leib Shteinman Shlita spoke out regarding persons using iPhones, stating they are pasul l’eidus.

HaGaon HaRav Moshe Yehuda Schneider tells of the gadol hador’s words in the weekly Pri Chaim publication. He explains “we merited hearing Maran’s opinion regarding iPhones, the impure device, and I am presenting these words after Rabbeinu questioned regarding a bochur that R”L fell victim as a result”.

He begins by stating the Rosh Yeshiva was made aware of the high cost of such a phone, resulting in his response that it is quite costly to sin and people are willing to pay a great deal of money – the main thing is to sin. He adds that a good esrog is less expensive and when he heard one person say that one who spends so much on an iPhone will not buy an expensive esrog, Rav Shteinman stated this is not necessarily so, for there are those who will pay for an esrog, as well as for an iPhone l’havdil.

Rav Shteinman was informed that HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Halevy Wosner Shlita ruled one who possesses an iPhone is ‘pasul l’eidus’ as Rav Wosner disqualified a witness at a chupah when learning of his phone. Rav Shteinman stated “The Klall is a prohibition that incurs malkos renders one pasul from d’oraissa and a prohibition that does not incur malkos only pasuls d’rabbonon. Hence, one with an iPhone is pasul from eidus d’rabbonon since malkos are not involved here.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. what about rebbes who are involved in huge machlokas with their fathers/sons/brothers/brothers in law….etc because each wants the kovoid of being rebbe thus causing huge rifts between diffrent sects of chassidim the chofets chaim zt”l says quite a few times in his sefer that hkb”h was mevater on the three biggest aveiros but not on machlokas

  2. I understand that the Above does not apply if the Internet is “disabled” with the restrictions, and someone else has the password. As that’s one of the only ways to secure an iPhone.

  3. How can a newsite that calls itself “Yeshiva World” use such a Bezoyan picture of Rav Shteinman as when he is dozing off. That was not the point of this article. This picture you chose makes him look like a frail Oiver Batel old man Chas V’Sholom!
    Please replace this picture with a normal one. Unless you ARE trying to mock him?

  4. unfortunately somebody in harav Shteinmans inner circle is making him look very naive. a person can go sin with almost any modern electronic device. and did anyone explain to the rav that the majority of professional and business people using iphones use them for legit reasons. if this psak would come with a caveat such as a kollel yungerman or a bocher or a housewife etc. with a iphone is pasul we could understand it fully. but this psak makes people wonder

  5. I’m personally confused; am I lug a PC around? Professional firms are paperless, require computers for research, note taking, communicating. I’m trying to contribute towards tuition and offer nominal amounts of tsedaka, which requires this integration into the workforce. If I am not wanted as a witness I can stay occupied with my professional duties.

  6. You need to either actually explain what they meant, or don’t post this type of stuff. People will project your silliness onto them.

    I mean, you know what else doesn’t have malkus? Walking down the street. Erego anyone who walks down the street is pasul l’edus!

    If this is actually true (I assume it isn’t), then I assume it actually has a real, logical explanation.

  7. The ramifications of his statement are huge!

    Forget about the fact that we all have been to weddings of people we know with the eidim keeping their iPhone in the suit pocket under the chuppa!

    What about the mashgiach at my local supermarket butcher that has an iPhone. Is the meat kosher?

    What about my sons rebbe who has an iPhone?

    What about my sons mohel who has an iPhone

    What about the soffer who wrote my aunts get, he uses an iPhone

  8. #3 – Long Island Yid:
    One of the (many) reasons Moshe Rabenu could not enter Israel was that the people did not grow up with him and there was the very real danger that people would start treating him as a manifestation of god on earth, reactions like yours and the way some people behave I think prove that in our day too we need these pictures to remind us that even though they are great gedolim they are still basar vedam and not c”v gods or infallible.

  9. This writeup is committing oversimplification of a complex issue that smacks of ביזיון as #3 says, and ignores mitigating conditions as in #2. To call an iPhone “the impure device” exposes a lack of information. The cost is incurred most probably because of the positive features the device has to offer, not “the main thing is to sin”. I doubt Rav Shteinman made those statements certainly not to be published by a writer whose presentation exposes his simple mindedness. No one can make such sweeping statements on an complex issue.

  10. I have great difficulty believing that the Rav said this. First, only an איסור בדין pasuls a person. We have no Sanhedrin to be gozeir, no בית דין לרבים has ever sat on this and issued a decree; how, then, can we invoke the halachah to pasul anyone?
    Second, there are those who must have a smart phone with them all day for פרנסה; the Rav himself paskened that this is muttar.
    Third, there are those (a daughter of mine among them) who save lives every day by communicating with a smart phone and getting help to those in danger. How is this an איסור בדין?
    Fourth, as someone has already mentioned, there are reliable screeing services to keep out the schmutz (a son of mine writes this software). When this is in place, where is the problem?
    I expect that this report is either missing in parts or mistaken.

  11. Are you sugesting that hkb”h is mevater on the use of an iphone or any technology that allows one to see arayos. “kol ha’omer hk”bh vatrun yevatru me-o-hee”

  12. #14
    well said


    To Ch”V even indirectly diminish a Talmid Chacham of his caliber will cause graver consequences than any possibly erroneous misunderstanding

  13. Ain huchy nami.

    And what about those who are Michallel Shabbos every week by carrying in Brooklyn on Shabbos? Someone that is Michallel Shabbos is also Passul Li’aidus.

  14. #7 because shulchan oruch is shulchan oruch if you want to be frum be frum in everything i am sick and tired of the hypocrisy in today’s chassidishe world all because of kovod and when i dare ask a chassidishe person about it he looks at me shocked saying we dont ask questions about rebbes so i tell him that nowhere in shulchan oruch does it say that rebbes can follow their own halochois

  15. # 15. You have a point but technically you are wrong

    ויתר הקב”ה על עריות שפיכת דמים ועבודה זרה ולא ויתר על מאסה של תורה


    הרי דאם הציבור נשחתין במדות גרוע יותר מאם נשחתין במצוות.
    משך חכמה פ בשלח.