Leading haredi rabbis have come out this morning in a statement forbidding the use of smartwatches, haredi website Kikar Hashabbat reported.
The signatories of the letter include Rabbi Yitzhak Zilberstein, Rabbi Sriel Rosenberg, Rabbi Yehuda Silman, Rabbi Moshe Shaul Klein, Rabbi Shmuel Eliezer Stern, Rabbi Masoud Ben Shimon, and Rabbi Meir Kessler.
In a letter announcing a “halakhic ruling,” the rabbis wrote: “The magnitude of the destruction brought about by smartphones [...] is known to the public, and Torah giants of the generation have already warned about the severity of the matter.”
"Recently, different types of these devices have been innovated, which in their appearance and name appear to be other devices that are permissible. They include the so-called ‘smartwatch,’ and are among the tricks of one’s evil inclination (yetzer hara) which imagines that the prohibition supposedly does not apply to that kind of device.”
“There are those who also sell them to children and young men, and they take part in the most severe way in causing the public to sin, placing the entire future of the generation in great danger.”
The rabbis conclude, “Therefore, we hereby announce our opinion that this device is forbidden from use, both by adults and children. And the prohibition applies even when there is no SIM card inside or when some sort of blocker has been applied. Likewise, it is prohibited to sell or advertise them.”
“By virtue of maintaining holiness, one will merit satisfaction (nachat) from all his descendants and all the blessings stated in the Torah,” the rabbis concluded.