Rav Kanievsky only knows what he has been told and reacted to that. Same as Rav Shmuel HaLevi Wosner at the Internet Asifa a few years ago. He has been told that there is an alarming number of Frum internet users that have been destroyed. Marriages have broken up. Children have gone OTD unprepared to handle the Apikursus they encounter… all because of this device.
Even those who don’t want to access the porn will eventually see it inadvertently. And the Apikurus is there at the click of the mouse. The slope is very slippery from there. So that even as they are told that the internet has some positive value, the bad so greatly exceeds the good, such devices should be completely banned from use and anyone using them are to be given the strongest sanctions.
If I knew nothing about the internet and someone came up to me and told me all that, I might feel the same way. Their understanding of the internet is that it a virtual Playboy Magazine - only worse. And that those who continue reading Playboy (even if it is only for the articles) knowing full well that the rabbis forbade it are Mumrim L’Hachis and to be treated accordingly.
Of course those of us who do use these devices know how ridiculous that understanding is. Most know how valuable it is…and how indispensable it has become. Eventually it will be more vital to our lives than the telephone. And most Charedim know that too.
One way or another, these Rabbinic leaders have been completely misled. I therefore fully reject this letter as either a complete lie or a Psak based on false information. It is not possible that a rabbinic leader of any stature who actually understands the reality of the situation would have ever said this.
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About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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