Chief Rabbi: Cell Phones Inhibit Torah Study

Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef attacks religious judges and teachers who use cell phones with unfiltered internet access.

Gil Ronen,

Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef
Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef
Flash 90

Israel's Chief Sephardic Rabbi, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, stressed in a speech Sunday that the use of cell phones inhibits Torah study.

Rabbi Yosef said that he does not go around with a cell phone on himself, because the routine use of cell phones causes “bitul Torah” – a term that refers to wasting one's time on idle matters instead of studying Torah.

He spoke sharply against religious judges (dayanim) and halakha-interpreting rabbis (morei hora'a), who hold cell phones thathave unfiltered internet access. He warned dayanim who are thinking of showing up at a conference of dayanim with an unfiltered cell phone in their pocket – to think again.

Rabbi Yosef also implored heads of kollel yeshivas to promulgate an instruction forbidding students from entering the kollel with a cell phone on them – or at least turn off the phone while they are studying at the Beit Midrash, or study hall.