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12.02.2014 17:02    Comments: 0    Categories: Some Useful Info      Tags: smartphone  rabbi shlomo aviner  machon meir  

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner (Machon Meir)


Smartphone – a Deal with the Devil


The smartphone is a very powerful tool. It's a telephone. It's a computer. It's got the

Internet. It's a camera and a tape recorder. It's got games, television, and more. It's therefore

no wonder that it has taken more than half of the residents of Israel by storm. Yet of such

Scripture states: “For the paths of the L-rd are upright. The righteous can walk on them,

while sinners stumble on them” (Hoshea 14:10).

The smartphone plagues three of our life's foundations: modesty, freedom and family life.

1. Modesty. The smartphone facilitates one's watching immodest movies and calling

obscene phone services, both of which involve the violation of explicit, severe prohibitions

from Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 307:16). Every pure-hearted individual undertstands,

even without knowing the law, that these constitute an abomination. Sefer Mesilat Yesharim

(Chapter 11) teaches that such activities are included in the prohibition against sexual sin, not

to mention the wretched, impoverished girls who are shamefully taken advantage of and

forced to engage in these acts – G-d have mercy on them. The evil impulse is powerful

enough on its own without our helping it along, forging a covenant with the devil via this

little device.

2. Freedom. More than fifty percent of smartphone users are are irretrievably glued to

the little screen, attached to it as though to an infusion. They cannot stop, and if they lose

their smartphones, it is like death to them and they go insane. There are even some people

who when they are talking to you continue to play with their smartphones under the table.

They have truly sold their souls to the devil.

3. Family life. This tool is a mobile, permanent Disengagement Program from the

family. The post-modern family of the smartphone is characterized by severe mutual


One of the women battling enslavement to this device wrote a book called “Alone


A child feels alone. He feels that his parent loves his iphone more than him. The

message the child gets is that he is considered an annoying disturbance. Nobody pays any

attention to him. He develops symptoms of being abandoned. He feels frustration and

distress. The parent, as well, feels the distress of a bad conscience. That, too, is a deal with

the devil.

Families that freed themselves of the smartphone report intimacy, mutual listening,

dialogue, being present and growing closer.*

True, giving up on this device is not easy. Yet a major principle applies to this world:

You can't do everything all at once. Everything comes at the expense of something else. A

person just has to decide what he's going to give up on.

Therefore, the great rabbis who have forcefully rejected the smartphone were right.

Every upright Jew, whether religious or not, unless he is one of the spiritual giants who never

ever sins, has a few options:

1. A cellular phone without Internet.

2. A filter program like those on the Internet.

Remember: Having a non-smart phone is very smart indeed.

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