An usual meeting took place Monday, between hasidic rebbes (leaders), yeshiva deans, and senior rabbis from the haredi community, and Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel (New Hope).
Recently, Hendel has taken steps to limit cellular providers' abilities to put limits on "kosher" phones, an option which is supervised by the Rabbinical Committee for Communications. This step has infuriated the haredi community, which has many members who prefer that their phones not be able to access the internet.
Participating in the Monday meeting were the Vizhnitz Rebbe, one of the most senior hasidic leaders in Israel; Rabbi Reuven Elbaz, a member of the Shas party's Council of Torah Sages; Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, who heads the large Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem; and Rabbi Moshe Tzedaka, dean of the Porat Yosef Yeshiva.
According to the Kan News report, Hendel told the rabbis: "What we do - regardless of how the media paints us - it's not against Judaism and the haredi community, it's for their benefit."
"I want things to be good for you. I worry about every Israeli citizen, whether he is from the Eida Haharedit, or whether he votes Shas, or UTJ, even though he has no political connection to me. Why? Because he is an Israeli citizen and he is my brother and I worry about him. The People of Israel are responsible for each other," he emphasized.
"I respect you very much, but I feel comfortable sitting with you and telling you that I worry about my children just the same as you worry about your children - in exactly the same measure," Hendel said. "We need to look at the details, and in the end, the real argument on the table is how we relate to the State of Israel, and if the State of Israel can regulate what happens within it."