Mispallalim of the Mosiyoff (מוסיוף) Shul in the Bucharim neighborhood of Yerushalayim have been informed the gabbai will no longer give an aliyah to persons who have a phone with internet connectivity. The shul is affiliated with a number of Sephardi Gedolim including Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L.
The gabbai also announces that anyone without a kosher cellular telephone may not be a shaliach tzibur as well.
Interestingly, Rabbi Yosef Cohen last week in his weekly shiur in the shul spoke out against the rabbonim who are machmir, explaining that everything in this world can be used with kashrus and while he admits he does not have a smartphone, and he does not how to use them, he explains people who are Yirei Shomayim have told him they are blocked to prevent them from any avreira despite having a smartphone.
During the shiur, which is quoted on the Chareidi 10 website, Rabbi Cohen explains his opposition to the position taken by Ashkenazi rabbonim against the smartphones. “Everyone should have a kosher phone. Why? Because Ashkenazim must steel people’s money? Where is this written? They go to rabbis who do not understand the phone or how one speaks on the phone and persuade them that every person must have a kosher phone. This is not correct”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)