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Oct 16, 2012

Rav Aviner Allows Usage Of The iPhone

Rav Shlomo Aviner is not a rav in the haredi community, though he himself is not really that far off in many of his positions from the haredi positions. the haredi media that closely follow the happenings in the haredi community do not generally look to Rav Aviner for information and news items, but, despite that, today they are all talking about Rav Aviner.

Rav Aviner, in a recent video response to a halachic question, seems to have successfully ruffled some feathers and perhaps surprised many, and thus got the glory of being talked about in the haredi media. Rav Aviner was asked if it is prohibited to use a smartphone or if one is obligated to only use a "kosher phone".

In his video response, Rav Aviner says that sms and internet help many people and there is no prohibition against using them. He says that of course if someone sees that with a "non-kosher" phone he is "stumbling", he should definitely take upon himself to only use a kosher phone, just like regarding anything else.

Maybe this is the psak Rav Amnon Yitzchak is relying on, rather than Rav Shteinman who yesterday repeated his opinion that one must distance himself from these destructive utensils that are unsupervised as if distancing himself from fire itself...

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  1. Rav Shteinman seems to have the same opinion as Rav Aviner.

    I don't distance myself all that much from fire. I use it for candles on Shabbat, and then Havdalah. I also use it to cook food almost every day. Me and fire are pretty darn close!

  2. Link doesn't seem to work
    Joel RIch

  3. If one is accepting a psak from someone, is there an expectation that the rav making the psak has actually seen or investigated the item in question?

    In the last video we saw of Rav Shteinman, he didn't know what a music CD was or that there was a contemporary Jewish music scene (but was being asked to publish a psak on the issue). Are we now to believe he knows what the Internet is and/or an iPhone?

    1. I would expect the answer would be that he personally doesnt know but relies on information given to him by other people who he trusts explicitly.

    2. I wonder if great rabbis play 'dumb' sometimes to hide their 'allknowingness'. A friend of mine went to ask for advice about moving to Elad and the rabbi had apparently did not understand where my friend was asking about. Some of the stories about Rav Elyashiv are coming out. Obviously a great mekubal, and apparently did not ever read newspapers, but some stories says he knew exactly what news was going on in the world.

  4. Wow. Saying that a person can make up his/her mind as to whether an iPhone constitutes a stumbling block for them personally? What a radical idea!

    Halavai normal thinking like this was the norm.


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