[PHOTOS BY JDN IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]
The Moetzas Gedolei Hatorah of Agudas Yisrael convened on Tuesday afternoon 13 Tammuz to discuss a number of issues including reevaluation of the master’s program that the council approved earlier for a Beis Yaakov school in Haifa. The Belzer Rebbe Shlita was not in attendance for he was not feeling well. The same holds true for the Erlau Rebbe Shlita. The Vishnitzer Rebbe (Merkaz) Shlita was not in the country. In attendance were the Admorim of Gur, Vishnitz, Sanz, Boyan, Sadigura, Moditz and Biala Shlita. It was noted that the Sanzer Rebbe left in the middle of the meeting.
Rabbonim from Ashdod were in attendance to discuss the ongoing battle against the chilul Shabbos in the city’s Big Center mall.
The rebbes discussed fears surrounding smartphone technology and other technological devices brought into chareidi homes, which they believe present a spiritual hazard to the entire family. They spoke of the prohibition of using any model phone that is not approved as ‘kosher’ phone. They are calling on schools not to accept talmidim if the talmid’s parents use prohibited phones or have internet in their homes. The admorim call on school principals to enforce these regulations without exceptions. One may receive a heter after consulting with one’s rav if one’s requires internet connectivity to earn a livelihood. This of course refers to filtered internet only.
With smartphones becoming increasingly commonplace the rebbes have stepped up their objections to such devices, insisting phones were made for conversations and not content and using such a phone is prohibited. Persons who do not heed their word and use such a phone are to be distanced from mosdos. The rabbonim also spoke about the growing reliance on the app WhatsApp and this too is forbidden in the strongest terms.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)