Above: Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef
Israeli Chief Rabbi Proudly Destroys Smartphone Of Unwilling Yeshiva Student
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Israel’s Sefardi haredi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef lashed out at smartphones Saturday night at his weekly public lecture and told a story about personally destroying an unwilling yeshiva student’s smartphone, the Times of Israel reported based on a report in the haredi news website Kikar Hashabat today.
“If there is a student with an iPhone [in Israel’s haredi community, all smartphones, regardless of their brand, are commonly referred to as “iPhones”], then he needs to be kicked out of the yeshiva, without a doubt, for sure,” Yosef reportedly said.
Yosef also said that during a yeshiva class he was teaching, a student’s phone rang. Yosef immediately ordered the student to bring him a bowl of water.
“[The student] went to bring a bowl of water, and put it on the desk [in front of me]. I put [the iPhone] inside, it bubbled and was gone. The phone was gone,” Yosef said.
According to Yosef, the student wasn’t pleased.
“Rabbi, that cost me hundreds of shekels,” the student allegedly said.
“I told you not to bring it [to the yeshiva]; there was an announcement not to do so. I don’t have to pay you. You can go to a beit din (rabbinical court) if you have a problem with the decision,” Yosef claims to have responded. “[The student] was afraid [to challenge me any further]. And that’s it, his telephone was gone, it was gone,” Yosef said.
Both Sefardi and Ashkenazi haredi rabbinic leaders worldwide have banned smartphone use for fear that smartphones allow haredim access to material that will 'corrupt' them, from pornography to scientific data that contradicts haredi fundamentalist theology.