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Aug 27, 2013

If you are reading this, don't go hear the shofar in Vizhnitz

Last year a rav of a shul in Flatbush announced that anybody in his shul who uses a smartphone would not be included in the shofar blowing and would have to go elsewhere to fulfill the mitzva. This year the son of the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, Rav Chaim Hager - rav of the Vizhnitz shul in Boro Park, has made a similar announcement, at a conference against technology in Monsey.

Rav Hager said that anybody who has a non-kosher cellphone should not bother wasting his money to travel to daven by the Rebbe for Rosh Hashana, as the Rebbe will not daven for him and any tears such a person cries on Rosh Hashana go to the Sitra Achra - the forces of evil.

He then added that he himself is the one who blows shofar and he is announcing in advance that he will not have in mind anybody who has a smartphone when he blows shofar, and such people will not fulfill their mitzva.
(source: Bechadrei)

Be forewarned..
if you were planning to daven in Vizhnitz, plan accordingly... either get rid of your smartphone, and I imagine it is not good enough to just not bring your phone to shul on Rosh Hashana, or find somewhere else to hear shofar on Rosh Hashana. Or maybe get a shofar-blowing app for your smartphone and just stay home since by going to shul you will just be strengthening the forces of evil anyway.

And if you weren't, well - good for you.

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  1. I am waiting for the Gezera against eating apples on Rosh HaShannah.

  2. This is wrong on so many levels -not least of which is a problem of Lifnei Eiver - if someone is in shul (or near the shul) and hears the shofar, instead of letting them fulfill a Mitzva, this individual would be deceiving them into thinking that they fulfilled a Mitzva, when in fact they didn't.

    Not only is he denying a fellow Jew a Mitzva, if he believes in "kol Yisrael Araveim Zeh-b-Zeh", he is reducing the Mitzva count for all of Klal Yisrael and potentially preventing a favorable judgement.

    If he really has intention not to include people, this man has a lot of potential aveirot on his shoulders.

  3. One wonders why only smartphone users get the treatment. Is that the supreme aveirah nowadays? Otherwise, we're all doing wonderfully? Regardless, it's far better that the shofar be blown with positive thoughts about all Jews.

  4. The solution is very simple- just sell your phone to a goy (or a non-vizhnitzer) for Rosh Hashana.

  5. The solution is even simpler: convert to a branch of Judaism that still follows Toras Moshe.


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