Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

5 Cheshvan 5765 - October 20, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Opinion & Comment
Excerpt from HaRav Wosner's Shabbos Shuvoh Droshoh on the Threat Cell Phones Pose to Am Yisroel

. . . Chazal (Sota 4b) interpreted the verse, ". . . ad kikar lechem" (Mishlei 6:26) to mean that through a sin that undermines the modesty of Klal Yisroel a person loses the source of his bread and sustenance and falls into decline. If I would dare, I would say that the terrible hunger to the point where they had to eat their children's flesh (see Taanis 7) was because of this . . . I would not dare to voice kitrug against Klal Yisroel, but I must say that surely -- and this is well-known -- the greatest kitrug are the communication devices which bring about sin, be'avonoseinu harabim. Most of all, cellular devices which have harmed hundreds, even thousands, of youths who have been corrupted by them and fallen from the Torah world. Many husbands and wives have also been ruined by [these devices] which infringed on peaceful relations in hundreds of homes from one end of the land to the other. It begins with nivul peh and ends with concrete transgression, and this sin eventually leads to impoverishment, ruin, lowliness chas vesholom, and more, which I will refrain from saying.

The Novi shouts out, "Ve'es hatzefoni archik mei'aleichem" (Yo'el 2:20), which Chazal interpret as a reference to the yetzer hidden ["tzofun"] in the hearts of man. The holy Zohar says this hints to the yetzer which stirs people to abandon modesty, and that this is the reason for hunger and the decline in sustenance. Therefore, the Novi issues a warning to keep at a distance.

The reason why we have not yet merited the complete Geuloh is this same mekatreg -- the cellular phone. I am deeply involved in this matter, together with the gedolim and the leaders of the generation shlita, acting to eliminate this terrible mekatreg. We have made numerous inquiries and investigations around the world, in the US, in Europe and in Eretz Hakodesh, and it has clearly been found that the reason for the decline is the cellular device, which hounds people, giving them no rest day and night. And now it has already become a "ro'eh" and a "nir'eh," transmitting impure pictures and reports of abominations. Every man and woman, bochur and bochuroh, chosson and kalloh, boy and girl, has access to this terrible implement.

From the very day this destructive device was created, peace of mind has been lost and it is a terrible cause of nivul peh and forbidden sights. I think, derech melitzoh, that this yetzer is called "tzefoni" because it is so small it can be hidden away in a clothes pocket, unseen. It is small in size but large in its destruction. How can such a small device carry and contain such a large yetzer hora? Regarding this "tzefoni," a yeitzer hidden in the pocket, the Novi warns us, "Ve'es hatzefoni archik mei'aleichem."

The advice against this is given by the Novi: "Ivru, ivru beshe'arim panu derech ho'om solu solu hamesiloh sakelu mei'even horimu nes al haamim" (Yeshayohu 62:10). "Ivru beshe'arim" refers to the "shearim hametzuyonim behalochoh" as Chazal learn in the first chapter of maseches Brochos--the yeshivas and the kollelim and the botei chinuch. One must pass through these gates, clearing the way to prevent this ruinous device from passing through these gates, and to check to see there are none there of whom the Novi says, chas vesholom, "Al bachurov lo yismach Hashem" (Yeshayohu 9:16).

"Panu derech ho'om"--the entire nation, even those who do not fall under the rubric of Toraso umonuso. The tracks must be cleared and the stumbling block must be lifted away. Indeed, Chazal learned that one of the names of the yeitzer hora is "Avi."

And through this may we have the merit to raise our banner over the nations and to bring to fruition the verse, "Unesoncho elyon al kol goyei haaretz lesheim ulesehiloh ulesiferes" (Devorim 26:19).

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