Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

3 Elul 5765 - September 7, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Vaadas HaRabbonim LeInyonei Tikshores Approves Additional Cell Phone Models

By Betzalel Kahn

Vaadas HaRabbonim LeInyonei Tikshores recently signed additional contracts with Cellcom and Pelephone to develop and market cell-phone models suited for the chareidi public.

Several months ago maranan verabonon set up the committee to address the problem posed by cell phones, which had spread like a plague, causing serious spiritual hazards. Committee members HaRav Tzvi Friedman, HaRav Boruch Shraga, HaRav Yisroel Fishbein, HaRav Amrom Offman and HaRav Yosef Binyomin Wosner—all of whom serve as rabbonim and dayonim very familiar with the public's day-to-day needs—were entrusted by gedolei Yisroel shlita to seek a suitable solution.

The committee reached an agreement with Mirs to develop and market cell phones adapted to the needs of the chareidi public by blocking access to detrimental content, and thousands of chareidim have already purchased these approved phones. Rabbonim and public figures said the agreement with Mirs provided proof of the substantial buying power of the chareidi public, which responded to calls by gedolei Yisroel to use only kosher cellular devices. The thousands of chareidi cell-phone users who switched to Mirs brought about a great act of kiddush Sheim Shomayim as the competing companies were forced to almost completely stop marketing their products and services to the chareidi sector.

In the present agreement Vaadas HaRabbonim has approved Pelephone's Telit 100x model and Cellcom's Nokia 8260 and 6120 models.

Gedolei Yisroel voiced their satisfaction with the substantial progress this step brings. Led by Maran HaRav Eliashiv shlita, they were closely involved in all of the steps the committee members took to handle the matter in the best way possible. Local rabbonim and prominent educators were also pleased with the "tikkun godol" on the issue of cell phones, saying it was a problem that had to be solved by attacking the root of the matter.

Gedolei Yisroel expressed their deep gratitude toward the members of Vaadas HaRabbonim, who invested time and hard work in search of a reasonable solution. They also thanked Dr. Yaakov Weinroth, who worked tirelessly on a pro bono basis together with his colleague, Attorney Boaz Edelstein, to tackle the legal aspects of the agreements.

With three different companies now vying for chareidi subscriptions the public can now choose from a wider range of products and service packages. The committee notes only certain models have been approved for use by the chareidi public.

The committee has also made arrangements for international calling, which presents numerous stumbling blocks as well, by signing an agreement with Xfone-018—now the only international carrier that operates in accordance with halochoh and blocks access to phone services not appropriate for chareidi families.

Xfone-018 has even developed a calling card arrangement designed to meet the needs of students who often call from public phones at yeshivas and seminaries. The special calling card even blocks all access to undesirable phone numbers.


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