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Who Misled Rav Chaim Kanievsky?

Rav Chaim Kanievsky

Rav Chaim Kanievsky

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 hmaryles@yahoo.com.


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21 Responses to “Who Misled Rav Chaim Kanievsky?”

  1. of course its a lie, harav kaniefsky is my cousin and i know him very well, he would never talk like that or say such stupid things and doesnt think that having an i-phone is an issue if used correctly, its too long to comment here, but suffice it to say i had a conversation with him about it and he said its fine if you need it for work or other things, so this letter is false!!

  2. Jonathan Weber says:

    Oy V'voy! Total Lunacy! I'm with Harry!

  3. Aviva Fort says:

    My rebbe who incidentally has Internet said never believe anything you hear or read in the news from a rebbe unless you call up and ask.

  4. Moishe Pupik says:

    I don't believe you.
    What's his number?

  5. Moishe Pupik has the best answer!!!!

  6. Yitz Jordan says:

    Let's be real. This has happened numerous times before: some askan/rabbi will go to a gadol and be like "the entire klal Yisrael is in danger of being ruined because of X! sign here!". (Does anyone remember when Lipa got banned the 1st or 2nd time?) Things like this have been happening with gedolim and innovations since forever – the gadol usually isn't a computer science expert, and relies on trusted advisors.

    While this is totally an issue here, it's not the first time and now with the age of 3-d printing, wearable technology, and Google glass (smashing bochurim's glasses because they *might* have internet in them? "kosher" glasses vs treif Google ones?) – it probably won't be the last.

  7. Nate Greenes says:

    When I was a bachur in Telshe Cleveland, there a story circulating about Mordechai Gifter. Someone asked him if it was true, and he replied "Nope, but I like hearing these stories about me."

  8. Sounds about right. I've done that a couple of times with Rabbeim, and usually got an answer that was much more level-headed than what was being reported.

  9. Leo Abrami says:

    Having read this page, I feel greatly comforted for whether we follow the Halakhah to the letter or not, we are probably all "mamzerim" according to Rabbi Kanievsky. So don't worry friends, we are all in the same boat – except for this "all-knowing" rabbi who thinks he has the true understanding. No matter what you do, you will probably be wrong anyway. How about just giving expression to your intention in the presence of the divine Sheh'inah and forgetting about R Kanievsky's sophistry?

  10. Moishe Pupik says:

    Rafael Jason Rafi Hecht · OK, funny.

  11. Myriam Obadia says:

    I agree. I'm do not know the rabbi mentioned, but every time I got to ask a question to a Rabbi, I got a thoughtful and levelheaded answer, so I have to conclude that, unless he comes to tell me so in person, I just will ignore the rumor.

  12. Ch Hoffman says:

    insanity is often contagious

  13. cmon people..grow up. you are all wasting time with stupidity..nothing better to do? I understand these comments are upsetting, but are TOTALLY FALS!! .Forgive me for sharing, but I must say, that I feel MUCH pity for anyone who has no belief in a godol like reb Chaim Kaniefsky. I have been through many crisis' in my life and through EXPERIENCES that many could not withstand, I was ONLY able to survive because I believed and listened to GEDOLIM. A godol is not "just" a Ruv..he has deep understanding of people and hashem's ways besides halacha.ALSO, They have very caring hearts , patience and sympathy, and would never put someone in a difficult situation unless they know something we dont. I have many times given in and listened to gedolim's advise , though inside me I disagreed, and later on , I clearly saw that it saved my life and mynperceptions were wrong and blinded.Gedolim like Reb Kaniefsky shlita , and( lehavdil , )Reb Moshe, Rav Pam, Rav Kaminetsky. zatsal …..these were our "eyes".Wake up and smell the coffe kinderlech…

  14. Anonymous says:

    I personally know Rabbi Aaron Shlomo Feinhandler , he is the most genuine Rabbi beyond what we could ever imagine , I happened to listen to a disc that he put out on this exact subject regarding the internet so I have know doubt that these comments were made by Rabbi Kanievsky

    I also had a hard time with this but Rabbi Kanievsky
    often says very strong stuff that Americans for sure have difficulty with .
    So if we want to comply with Rabbi Kanievsky the only solution is to use a filterthat prevents photos that are not znius from your screen .

    Rabbi Fienhandler is the finest person in the whole world .

  15. Shmuel says:

    BH It happened before a lot of times such letters were forged Ect. Rabbi Kanevsky is one of the Gdoley ha dor. Recently when there was a problem and danger from Syria & Israelis were buying gas mask. Rav Kanevsky said: ” masks are for Purim, everything will be good with us…” the rest you know…

  16. Ariela Jayosi says:

    This is nothing that's new. My uncle has been on this crusade for a while now, but I don't think he would've intentionally misled anyone in it. He's a very straight-forward man and even though I'm not at all religious anymore I am very disappointed at your claiming that he pulled one over on Rav Kanievsky. I suggest calling or visiting the Rav Aharon Feinhandler and checking directly with the man before you publish such an outlandish, libelous claim again..

  17. Ariela Jayosi says:

    I'd like to add that it's important why HaRav Feinhandler is on this mission to rid the frum world of internet devices. Believe it or not, it's very little to do with porn, but more to do with his personal experiences in his own immediate family. He (falsely) believes that the reason for his son's divorce was because he connected to the internet and began learning 'worldy' things (ie stuff other than torah/gemara/etc). In fact, his youngest son is now an outspoken advocate for those who choose to leave the world of Beit Israel/Mea Shearim/etc. HaRav Feinhandler is a man with a broken heart because of his gross misunderstanding of technology and misappropriating it with, at least in his son's case, divorce and 'yarida' from the faith.

    However, anyone here or anywhere else who tries to claim that MANY marital problems and psychological sexual problems (which run rampant in such a closed-off world) were not exasperated by what's available on the internet is lying to themselves and others. I have had many married 'frum' (hassidic and hareidi) guys propose sex and/or sexual behavior to me on the internet when I initially started my journey into becoming religious (~10 years ago). I was disgusted, but thankfully found a 'normal' niche of religious people elsewhere. We also know that pedophiles use the internet to look at child porn and other psychologically-disturbed people use it for similar purposes.

    Anyone who wants to claim that the internet can't screw up the life of a person who is not equipped to deal with what they encounter is, as the author and some commenters so inappropriately claim what my great-uncle is, a liar.

    Anyone who thinks that this Rav Kanievsky, who's made outlandish claims and rulings before, couldn't have said this because it's not suitable to their 'frum ears,' is in denial.

    Anyone who writes/makes these claims about the Rav Feinhandler, an extremely religious man (and one I disagree with on most points, btw, incl. obviously his ruling re: the internet), is committing lashon hara.

  18. Yossi-Chani Steele Royde says:

    Even if someone were to view immoral images on his device, it would not forbid him from being a witness. The Shulchan Aruch details who may and who may not be a witness. Someone who does not guard their eyes, is not on the list of those who may not.

  19. Chaim Moore says:

    When I was studying in Israel a psak was publicized that Rav Elyashiv said one could not war crocs on Yom Kippur as they are too comfortable. My Rav heard about this so he went to Rav Elyashiv himself (he did this often) and asked him if its true. Rav Elyashiv said "What are Crocs?" so the Rav showed him one and he said "Is it made of leather? No? So why should it be assur!

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