Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Rav Chaim Kanievsky allegedly invalidates all witnesses to marriage and divorce - who have an iPhone

Kikar haShabbat  update by a reader - "He also said that if the Hashaka in a Mikva was done by someone with a smart phone - he is posul for the job. Not clear if the Mikva is Pasul. This would apparently create many many Bnei Nida. I dont know if the tevila was done by someone with an iPhone, if the Tevila works. and what about a Mohel? Mashgiach Kashrut (they all have)"

פסק הלכה שמיוחס למרן שר התורה הגאון רבי חיים קנייבסקי, קובע כי משתמשי מכשירי אייפון פסולים לעדות נישואין וגירושין. "אם היה עד, אפילו בדיעבד, צריך לקדש או לתת גט עוד פעם" כתב יו"ר הוועד לטוהר התקשורת ששמע את הפסק מפיו של הרב קנייבסקי. האם אלפי נישואין וגירושין לא תקפים הלכתית?

דרמה הלכתית: פסק הלכה חדש שיוצא ממעונו של מרן שר התורה רבי חיים קנייבסקי, קובע כי יתכן ואלפי עמך בית ישראל שנישאו והתגרשו דרך הרבנות אינם נשואיםגרושים על פי ההלכה. הסיבה? חלקם של אנשי המועצות הדתיות מחזיקים במכשיר האייפון.
במכתב שהוציא הרב אהרון פיינהנדלר - יו"ר "הוועדה לטוהר התקשורת" והגיע לידי 'כיכר השבת', הוא מצטט את הגר"ח קנייבסקי שאמר כי: "כל מי שיש לו אייפון, אינטרנט פרוץ וכדומה פסול לעדות קידושין וגירושין, אם הנ"ל היה עד, אפילו בדיעבד, צריך לקדש אותו או לתת גט עוד פעם".
הגר"ח קנייבסקי הוסיף ואמר - לדברי הרב פיינהנדלר, כי "מי שעושה הכשרה (השקה) למקווה של טבילת נשים, וכן האישה המטבילה, פסולים לתפקיד שלהם אם הם מחזיקים במכשירים הנ"ל".
יצויין, כי חלק ניכר מאנשי המועצות הדתיות שלא בהכרח משתייכים לזרם החרדי השמרני, מחזיקים במכשירי אייפון או באינטרנט שאינו מסונן. כמו כן, בחתונות רבות, ובמיוחד במגזר שאינו חרדי, האנשים שמתכבדים בעדות עשויים להחזיק ברשותם טלפון חכם, לפי דברי הגר"ח קנייבסקי אותם מביא הוועד לטוהר התקשורת, הקידושין (או הגירושין) אינם תקפים.
Rabbi Feinhandler in action

46 comments :

  1. a bold move to resolve the get-crisis! Congratulations!

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    Replies
    1. If this psak were to be put into effect, I wonder how many gittin this would invalidate because the witnesses have iPhones?

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    2. It certainly doesn't resolve the Get issue. This means many divorces are invalid and the women are still married to their first husband.

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  2. Someone once told me that according to Rav Kanievsky, he could break my smartphone (that he incorrectly called an iPhone) and not pay for the damage. I asked him what's an iPhone? He said, it's filled with movies and pornography. I asked him if Rav Chaim knows what an iPhone is or if he ever saw one? He said, "They told him."
    In other words, Rav Chaim has no idea what an iPhone is. All he knows is what his followers (who also don't know what an iPhone is) told him!
    So I have 2 questions:
    1. How can anyone Pasken without firsthand knowledge of the thing he is paskening on?
    2. Dovid HaMelech said that he was up to his elbows in women's blood in order to pasken relevant shailos. Could it be that Gedolim in this generation are not willing to 'get their hands dirty'? And what does that say about them?

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    1. Very good point.
      How can you pasken on something that you have no personal information or data on?? Are there any REAL PEOPLE (particularly those who live outside of Bnei Brak) that take these statements as halacha?

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    2. These sorts of news reports do two things:
      1. They make a mockery of Torah
      2. They show us just how removed some Poskim are from the world.

      Personally, I think RCK was not speaking literally. Its like when the gemara says that getting angry is like Avodah Zara. Obviously, that doesnt mean it is literal Avodah Zara. Given the facts of a real case, knowledge of what an iPhone is, knowledge of the person who owns the iPhone, I am sure RCK would pasken something differently.

      The Gedolim have to realize that everything they say is reported and analyzed and blown out of proportion. Their thoughts and opinions are considered piskei halacha. It is terrible.If RCK knew what teh blogsophere was and how his words are analyzed and twisted, he would stop talking.

      Delete
    3. "Someone"... yippeee dooh.
      so that "someone doesnt know what an iphone is!!
      & you still assume that when he says that r. chaim also doesnt know---you go ahead and assume he knows how & what r. chaim knows!?!?!?!!! NONESENSE!!!

      Delete
  3. Is this a way to free Tamar Epstein?

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  4. The iPhone was not introduced until well after the Epstein-Friedman wedding.

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  5. I dont understand? Does I-phone include all smartphones or is this just for the I-phone?Does a psak from Israel affect American marriages? I am sure that plenty of Rabbis in America who arrange marriages, including Chareidi have a smart phone! DT please elaborate how does one reconcile such a thing? I have respect for Rav Kanievsky, but this halocho would invalidate many kiddushin and gittin?

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    Replies
    1. Shmuel,
      The psak is ridiculous and can not be considered real. A Psak halacha must be based on halacha.

      Delete
  6. It is certainly the sign of our times where the committee for the 'Tohar Hatikshoret ' focuses on objects – chitzoniyus and not how people talk , avoiding lashon Ha'ra , machlokes , being respectful , communications express values etc. This involves chinuch , helping people connect to Hashem and higher values. It is far easier to control what people buy and own than influence on how they speak and conduct themselves. They don't realize that the most dangerous object used for communication is our tongues.
    There was a story going around of a man who , I am not sure if it was him or a family member who was seriously ill. He was in the process of becoming frum and the person who was accompanying the process saw this as an opportunity for him to get the guy to throw out his smart phone. If there was a recovery from the illness , he promised he would throw out the phone and get a brocha from Rav Steinman. The day came and with a sheim Yichud kidshu – he threw and broke the smart phone. They went to see Rav Steinman and while waiting the young man saw all the askanim busy with their smart phones. !!! You can imagine the thoughts that went through their heads

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  7. Wait,... Today isn't April 1st! Nope, not Purim Torah! Perhaps a hoax? To say that bdieved it is no good is nuts. The gemara and Rambam do not mention Iphone. What aout the mashgichim and shochtim? Do we need to kasher our kitchens again? This is ridiculous story and I would not expect this on this blog. That is what Failed Messia is for. Hasagat G'vul!

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  8. I'm glad since I recently switched to Android.

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  9. The title of this posting says "allegedly invalidates". Let's take as given that such a P'sak was given by a Rav. I think I can find a legitimate logic behind it.

    Let's examine the case of someone who does not use Internet connected devices. This hypothetical man has a telephone that is used for instantaneous voice communications, he has pen, paper, envelopes and stamps for communicating by mail, he has a car so he can travel around; he has a library he goes to and where he reads newspapers, magazines, and books.

    In other words, he has access to many of the things an iPhone offers: access to one-on-one communications both realtime and delayed, to information, and to the opportunity to meet others in a group and interact.

    Furthermore, lets's say this man uses this access not to actually sin, but to hang out in the wrong places. For example, he is often found in a seedy part of town where there is criminal activity. Even if he does nothing wrong there, just his public association with that part of town indicates that he doesn't particularly value his reputation.

    Now, someone with an Internet connected device like an iPhone is a step away from utilizing the seedy aspects of the Internet. What does that say about him?

    Some might argue that just as a man can live in a city and restrain himself from getting steeped in sin, so too someone can have a life on the Internet and be involved in healthy activity there.

    Others -- and here's where I perceive the good in the P'sak -- can make the valid point that the Internet is a window into a virtual world of invirtuity, and that owning an iPhone underlines the poor character of one who inhabits an online universe.

    Don't read it iPhone, rather oyPhone.

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  10. Aharon Feinhandler, author of this letter, in action:
    http://video.yahadoot.com/6967

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  11. Asher Pihem diber shavDecember 24, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    I think the gist of the psak would be, if someone is watching pornography all day, he is not a kosher witness. If a smart phone is used for that purpose, then he probably shouldn't be a witness.

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  12. Today is erev Xmas. Some Hassidisher types are mevatel Torah today, because they erroneously claim itwill be of benefit to yashke's neshama if we practice Torah. So Hassidim, like their predecessor Mr S. Zvi, are reform for a day.

    The comments attributed R Kanievski are problematic. It is evident that there is a battle for succession of the gadol HADor, and hence each of the contenders is trying to come up with more Chumros than the other.
    Before R Kanievski had such political pressures placed on him, he generally avoided machlokes, and division.

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    Replies
    1. The war against the IPhone goes back well before Rav Eliashiv passed. Mohelim and Sofrim who have IPhones(or any other smart phone) have been considered possul for quite some time.

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    2. RMT, considering a Mohel with an iPhone possul is completely absurd. It has no basis in halacha.

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    3. James I am not disagreeing with you, but that is what is being taught in kollelim and yeshivot all over Israel. For the record I have heard the "IPhone is full of pornography" speech myself.... even commented on it at one point on my own blog.

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    4. the Possul war is part of Haredi obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is this religio-psychiatric disorder which has led to internecine warfare, as is now apparent - every haredi sector is now in war with itself, latest being the Litvish world.

      Delete
  13. Blackberry is the right way to go!

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  14. The man publicizing this supposed "psak" is Rabbi Aaron Feinhandler (better known for his famous computer smashing video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7A6nKuvuk0). He obviously takes an (very) extreme position on this issue, and it would not surprise me if his report of Rav Chaim Kanievsky's statement is more than a little exaggerated.

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  15. Rabbi Eidenson,

    You are a Talmid Chochom and respectable person. Whether this Psak was indeed issued by Haran Kanievsky obviously has enormous far reaching ramifications. Wouldn't it be reasonable that someone of your stature properly research this and verify the truth here?

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  16. Relyign a newspaper article for a psak?
    And even the article says that this "psak" (if one can call it that) is only "attributed to" Rav Chaim, and later it refers it as "emerging from his home."
    This is absurdity.
    If the woman has children with another man while still in the is allegedly invalid marriage, I am certain that Rav Chaim would be unequivocal that those children are mamzeirim.

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  17. SOME THINGS STILL HAVE TO BE CLARIFIED...

    How does one know if a prospective עד קידושין (witness) indeed has a iPhone?!

    Can we ask him himself? Is he נאמן (believed/trusted)??

    Do we need two עדים? Is it עד אחד נאמן באיסורין (iPhone Isur), or its it אין דבר שבאישה פחות משנים?!?

    How can one say witness that a person DOESN'T have a iPhone?? Prove a negative?! Is it enough if the witnesses check his pockets?!?

    For those that are סומך (rely) on the היתר מכירה, can he "sell" the iPhone to a non jew? How about to a non religious Jew? How about to one of the other (religious) guests?

    For those that aren't someich on the heter mechirah for shmittah, but sell their chometz before pasach, is iPhone like chometz or shemittah???

    Does one become disqualified when he buys the iPhone?? Connects the service? Makes the first call?? What if one was gifted an iPhone? Barrowed an iPhone??

    Does it prove he always lacked יראת שמים and he's פסול למפרע to?!?

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  18. "Happy is the man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not turn [Hebrew: Pho-ne] to the proud, nor to those who go astray after lies." Psalms 40.

    (From the Tanach Bible app on my WiFi connected iPad). Although I may not be believed according to some that that is where I got the quote.

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  19. r sholom kamenetski has a smart phone - does that invalidate him from being an abritrator/mediator in the weiss/dodelsohn case?

    Yankel fun Mikkeys kaveh shteeb

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  20. some people have a Siddur app on their i/smartphones, and they daven (weekdays) using their phones. Would, therefore, such a person be posul for a minyan?

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  21. I had someone very close to teh Kanievsky family speak with them. It seems that Rabbi Feinhandler is known to add his own twist to Rav Chaim's words, and although Rav Chaim does have a strong concerns about the dangers technology poses, this "psak" did not come from him.

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  22. About that video. You're going to tell me these men don't use computers connected to the Internet...?! Did you see how they smashed and stomped?? Who hasn't felt that way at some point when a little twirling "hang tight" thingy goes on and on, or when a program or app keeps crashing, etc etc ad nauseam. No sir, these men come across as veteran users.

    My sister once reasoned that the operating system on PC's is called "Windows" because that's where you want to throw the computer out.

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  23. Vromi
    I was at an event where a goy was observing a minyan for maariv. He asked me "if when the men bowed down they were texting, were they still rewarded?".

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  24. Recipients and PublicityDecember 25, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    "Rav Chaim Kanievsky allegedly invalidates all witnesses to marriage and divorce - who have an iPhone"

    In response, it is obvious that this is contradicts:
    אין גוזרים גזירה שאין הציבור יכול לעמוד בה

    From: www.yeshiva.org.il / Wikishiva:

    "אין גוזרין גזירה על הציבור אלא אם כן רוב הציבור יכולין לעמוד בה


    כל אימת שנראה לבית דין לגזור גזירה, לתקן תקנה או להנהיג מנהג, עליו להתיישב בדבר ולידע תחילה אם רוב הציבור יכולים לעמוד בו, אם לאו. משום כך, כשחרב בית המקדש השני, ורבו פרושים בישראל שרצו להמנע מלאכול בשר ומלשתות יין, נטפל להם ר' יהושע, ואמר: שלא להתאבל כל עיקר אי אפשר שכבר נגזרה גזירה, ולהתאבל יותר מדאי אי אפשר שאין גוזרין גזירה על הציבור אלא אם כן רוב הציבור יכולין לעמוד בה, אלא כך אמרו חכמים, סד אדם את ביתו בסיד ומשייר בו דבר מועט.


    מטעם זה, לא אסרו חכמים לגדל בארץ ישראל אלא בהמה דקה ולא בהמה גסה, שכן ידעו חכמים שבאיסור גידול בהמה דקה יכול רוב הציבור לעמוד, מפני שאפשר להביא בהמה דקה מחוץ לארץ; אבל באיסור גידול בהמה גסה, אין רוב הציבור יכול לעמוד, מפני שאי אפשר להביא בהמה גסה מחוץ לארץ. "

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  25. I once spoke to a major zealot about a similar issue, and he told me that a telephone is just as bad, and why that is true I don't want to talk about. Thus, everything can be misused. If a person has a legitimate need for a telephone, the fact that it could be misused cannot prevent him from using it. Now, if a great rabbi forbids telephones, and people disobey him, are they invalid witnesses? If a person sins with something that everyone else does, does that make him a rosho? Or is a rosho only somebody who does something nobody else does. If so, to invalidate a person, he must do something intentionally that nobody else does, or at least, the sin is not in general done. What happens if somebody speaks loshon hora or is motsee shem ra or embarrasses somebody in public? Is he invalid as a witness? Or do we say, that since people don't take these aveirose with the proper measure of fear they deserve, the sinner is not a rosho who is disqualified from testifying, etc. If this is not true, since "everyone speaks loshon hora," who can testify? Basically, a person can prefer a witness who doesn't speak loshon hora, who never steals or cheats or does something clever in business, but who ever heard of canceling the marriages or the Gittin? Sometimes, people can say something in the heat of the moment, as an exaggeration. We find even the Torah exaggerates saying that somebody had walls up to the heavens, etc. But this is not to say that in practice we accept it.

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  26. If this story is true,"and it is a big IF" and reb Chaim was serious and meant this PSAK to be literal, then it only proves once again,that mandatory retirement should be forced even on gedoileh yisroel.
    But most probably this PSAK was in the same category as the Satmarer rebbes famous ruling that participating in Israeli elections and sitting in the Knesset is YEHERAG V'AL YAAVOR,or the MAHARAM SHICK'S famous ruling that metzitzah b'peh is HALACHA LMOISHE MISINAI,every normal thinking person realizes that it was not meant literally,they just wanted to convey the message of how strongly they felt about the issue ,if i recall correctly,reb Moshe Feinsteins reaction to the ruling of the MAHARAM SHICK,was that it was a PLITAS HAKOLMUS,an accident of the pen,in other words an exaggeration .
    anyone taking this ruling by reb Chaim literally,needs his head examined.

    CHAIM.S

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  27. If you will examine the letter, you will note that it is not signed by Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky. Indeed it is merely a presentation by an Ahron Feinheldler, who claims to have heard this ruling by Rabbi Kanievsky in the the presence of the Rabbi's grandson, Rabbi Aryeh Kanievsky. Unfortunately it is a well known fact,that the vast majority of these so called gaboim and handlers who surround themselves around todays rebbes and gedolim,are nothing but low life gangsters who are there for only two reasons, and that is to enrich themselves, and for the KAVOD,anyone who believes one word what these guys are saying is an idiot.
    And not only that,these are the low lifes,who fuel the fires and Machlokes that has engulfed klall yisroel in the last few years.
    CH.S

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  28. to Rabbi Eidensohn
    i dont understamd, why do you let comments that are mavazeh talmeidai chachamim??
    i hope you will post this & i await your reply. nobody is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Emes vishalom, i beg to differ,it is the gaboim and the handlers of the gedolim- who misquote them and deliberately twist their words to fit their personal agendas, and the blogs who paste it all over the world,these are the people who are mevazeh talmidei chachamim ,and these same low life's are the ones responsible for the unprecedented fire of machlokes both in the yeshivishe and chasidishe worlds

      Delete
  29. A poretz geder is pasul l'eidus.

    What's so hard to get?

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    Replies
    1. Then the problem would only apply to people in those communities which accept Reb Chaim as one who can make gedarim for them. Members of the Dati Leumi community, for example, are not obligated by gedarim created by the Charedi Gedolim. Yet the letter of Rabbi Feinhandler applies what Reb Chaim said to dattiim as well.

      Delete
  30. Wake up !

    Is it not time for better leadership that we currently have?

    I cannot comment on Rabbi Kanievski but this is obviously a mockery of essential leadership that we desperately need.

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  31. "Rav Chaim Kanievsky allegedly invalidates all witnesses to marriage and divorce - who have an iPhone"

    Of course, those who are steeped in גניבה וגזילה, defrauding the government, enabling child molesters by demonizing the victims, those guilty of being מספרי לשון הרע, illegally selling human organs, intolerance of other Jews, those deeply involved in שקר וכזב and every other form of being a פערד גנב are all כשר לעדות- correct? In this דור תהפוכות the name of the game is, "Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the Frumest of them all?" Has anyone lately seen a חומרה on לא תגנוב? We truly live in a time when we regrettably are witnessing מֵשִׁיב חֲכָמִים אָחוֹר וְדַעְתָּם יְסַֹכֵּל. How much farther must we fall into absurdity?

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  32. Anyone with an ounce of brains in his head has to realize,that reb Chaim's psak was in the same category as the Satmar rebbe's ruling,that participating in the Israeli elections is an ISSUR of YEHERAG V'AL YAAVOR,or the MAHARAM SHIK'S ruling that metzitza bpeh is a HALACHA LMOSHE MISINAI,which of course every normal person realizes they did not mean it literally they just wanted to make a point of how strongly they felt about the issue at hand, as a matter of fact reb.Moshe Feinstein z"l when quoting the above mention MAHARAM SHIK,says that this was only a PLITAS HAKULMUS,an accident of the pen,in other words an exaggeration.
    This is a perfect example, where we must use our fifth shulchan aruch,(if we have it)
    CH.S

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    Replies
    1. "Satmar rebbe's ruling,that participating in the Israeli elections is an ISSUR of YEHERAG V'AL YAAVOR,"
      Nice example. He also forbade people to visit the Kotel. Is there anyone who would NOT go to the Kotel for that reason? (even though in the British Mandate or previous arab occupations, anyone who could go, would.)

      Delete
  33. Don't forget that Aaron Feinhandler is the fellow running a startup that hopes to make and sell KOSHER "iPhones" (smart phones for the educated).

    ReplyDelete

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