Sep 20, 2012

The Attack on The Smartphone Moves To The Honor System

The attack on the smartphone continues. It seems that even the most hard-core hassidim, those who do everything by their rebbes command, don't actually always listen and follow instructions. If anybody thought that at least by the hassidim, the rebbe's word is writ, and his followers obey carefully, they would be surprised to find out it is not quite so.

The Vizhnitzer Rebbe publicized his attack on the non-kosher cellphones the other day when he said that anybody who has a smartphone should not come to him for a kvittel. I imagine this is something that is on the honor system - I mean, if they did not listen to him to get rid of their smartphone and continue to use it despite his opposition, it is on them to honor his wishes and not come for a kvittel, but they may very well not listen to that either. But clearly is wish has not been their command.

Add to that this announcement by a Rav Avraham Shorr of a community in Flatbush in which he said, according to this report on Bechadrei, that anybody who has a non-kosher phone, or unfiltered internet access at home, would not be included in the community for shofar blowing - such a person would have to go to hear shofar elsewhere. He clearly suspects that people in his own shul have not been listening to him the many times he has spoken against using such devices.

Clearly when you have in mind to include other people in your mitzva and help them fulfill their obligation, you have the ability to exclude certain people. Generally that would be done by actually excluding those specific people. In this instance Rav Shorr is excluding a general unknown - anybody with this or that is not included. Whether that actually works or not I have no idea, but on the honor system, anybody who has not listened to him until now was going to be expected to "fess up" and listen to him regarding this and either find another minyan or get rid of his phone...
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