Vizhnitzer Rebbe: Give Up Your Kosher Smartphones

Rabbi Yisrael Hager of the Vizhnitz Hassidic Dynasty prays at the burial site of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in Meron, Northern Israel, May 30, 2019. Photo by David Cohen/Flash90

BNEI BRAK (VINnews) — This past Shabbos, the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, HaRav Yisrael Hager shlit”a, spoke passionately to his followers, and implored them to accept a difficult “kabbalah”.

While speaking at Shalosh Seudos, the Rebbe asked his Chassidim to give up their smartphones for the entire Chanukah.

The Rebbe explained that he was given a message from Shamayim to address the ongoing struggle posed by devices. He said that unprotected smartphones are not even worth discussing, and should be tossed into the ocean. However filtered smartphones that are “kosher” still pose a threat, and he implored his Chassidim to turn over their kosher smartphones to him for the entire Chanukah.

He added that because of the difficult challenges facing Klal Yisrael, it is important to take action on Chanukah to help bring the redemption closer.

The Rebbe said that the goal of the exercise was to show people that they can function without devices. He encouraged anyone in Klal Yisrael, not only Vizhnitzers, to deposit their phones with him, and he gave a special beracha to anyone who heeded his advice.

The Rebbe then added frightening words, saying, “How can a Yid daven to Hashem before lighting the Menorah, asking for children and grandchildren who are immersed in Torah and mitzvos, with a device in their pocket?”

According to reports, the Rebbe’s words had a major impact on his followers — dozens of Chassidim gave him their smartphones. Some business owners even posted a message on their statuses saying that as per the Rebbe’s instructions, they have surrendered their devices until “Zos Chanukah” and will not necessarily respond to messages until after the Chag.


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