BNEI BRAK (VINnews) — In a letter written Monday regarding the expected reopening of Shuls in Israel this week, Rav Chaim Kanievski wrote that we need “to establish a permanent rule (Takkanah Kevu’ah) that all telephones should be off during the entire period of the prayers and it is prohibited to enter the shul and pray with a telephone which is not shut off. The Gabaim should exhort and rouse people to recognize the enormity of the transgression and the disrespect to shuls and batei midrash”
At the beginning of his letter Rav Chaim writes that “for a number of weeks we have been banished from our shuls and batei midrash like slaves who come to pour a cup for their masters and the cup is poured on their faces, and it appears that this is a sign from heaven that people sinned and belittled the sanctity of the shuls by praying with their telephones on and talking on them. This is a tremendous disrespect to the prayers and the sanctity of the shul which our fathers could never have imagined. It is against the halacha in the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 151) and the Zohar in Vayakhel teaches terrifying things about such behavior.”
Rav Chaim concludes by saying that in the merit of accepting upon ourselves this rule, “Hashem will return us swiftly to His service in shuls and batei midrash and will accede to our prayers with love and willingness.”
Rabbi Gershon Edelstein added his signature to Rav Chaim’s letter and added that “we should also be careful not to speak idle talk in our shuls.”
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