Religious Leaders Use Simchat Torah To Demonstrate Gravity Of Battle Against Mobile Devices

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Religious leaders use Simchat Torah to demonstrate gravity of  battle against mobile devices: donation offered to synagogue by iPhone owner refused, worshipper ordered to break his phone during traditional dancing with Torah scrolls.

Israeli rabbis are stepping up their war on smartphones, using the Simchat Torah as an excellent opportunity to prove just how serious they are.

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky says it is forbidden to own smartphone, and those who already have one must burn theirs. Head of  Vizhnitz Hasidic dynasty refers to device as ‘spiritual Holocaust’.

On Monday evening, during the traditional singing and dancing with Torah scrolls at the Porat Yosef  Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Moshe Tzadka ordered one of the worshippers to break his phone. The Anash News website reported that immediately afterwards, the rabbi ordered anyone in need of salvation to receive a blessing from the man – as a sign that his spiritual level was higher after destroying the device.

Before the phone was broken, Rabbi Tzadka said it was a mitzvah of  “Kiddush Hasem” and that performing it was like acting on the verse dealing with idolatry: “Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones.” (Deuteronomy 7:5)

After the phone owner broke the device in two with his hands, the rabbi called on the audience to repeat after him, “So may all your enemies perish, Lord!” (Judges 5: 31)

Haredi news agency Kav Hahasifot (“Exposure Line”) reported that in the yeshiva of Rabbi Shmuel Halevy Wosner, a donation from one of the worshippers was refused after it was revealed that he owned a smartphone.

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