The Matzav Shmoooze: Why Do You Think I’m a Goy?


Dear Editor,

I thought a lot about writing this letter, but I decided that I must. People are getting hurt every day and nothing is being done about it.

I can be your neighbor. I can be your accountant. I can even be your sibling. I have a job that requires a smartphone. I wish I wouldn’t need it. However, my job is codependent on it. As soon as my field required it, I asked a shailah. My rov asked me different questions as to why I need it. Only after he was sure I really need it did he give me his p’sak. You can only use it with a strong filter. With his haskamah, I went and purchased a smartphone. And I went and purchased the best filter out there.

My phone and Yiddishkeit don’t contradict each other. My kids have zero access to it.

Now for the pain…

I am not hear to be matir smartphones. I am not here to minimize the words of daas Torah or the dangers or horror stories. Every case must be judged individually.

Although everything was done according to daas Torah, we are constantly abused. We are told that we are horrible people. And that we don’t care about Yiddishkeit. And that we will go off the derech.

The rabbanim were the ones who encouraged TAG to open for our types of people. We follow daas Torah on everything. What gives you the right to shame people publicly? What gives you the right to tell people that they are goyim? What gives you the right to say, “Keep far from him! He doesn’t listen to daas Torah!” It’s pure sheker.

You are not doing the right thing. You are harming and degrading innocent people.

The same Torah says to judge people lekaf zechus. So if you see one of us with a meusher sticker, please judge us favorably and know that we asked daas Torah and we are doing what’s right for us.
Y. Z


  1. Finally.
    I agree with you %100 percent. My feelings exactly. I don’t know what country or neighborhood you live in, but where I live in New York, no one calls me a goy for having a smartphone.
    As an aside, many times, the ones shouting the loudest are the ones who are guilty of the same crime. It’s the same thing with chalav yisroel, size/material of yarlmuka, using an english ArtScroll gemarah, wearing a blue shirt during the week, staying in the city during the summer, etc… These people who judge others have perfect lives/families/shidduchim and their only concern is correcting others that don’t have the exact same standards as them.

  2. What else shall be done?!

    We are in midst of Milchamah
    & there invariably will be collateral damage /casualties of friendly fire

    • It’s not for you to fight another person’s war. Everyone has their own situation, and their lives are not yours and vice versa. Regardless, we should not forget about dan l’kaf zechus.

    • speak of dangers. agreed. dont use it wothout a rov analizing the whole up to standards of rov. no need dont use. that every person is a goy who has one? somethingelse. speak the emes

    • Deal with your own milchama. A person is not violating any isurim just by owning a smart phone, but you do with judging, loshon hora and sinas chinom.

  3. Next time someone insults you remember the chazal about those who are insulted and don’t retaliate. Give brachos. Including to yourself.

  4. I feel your pain unfortunately there r too many wrong attitudes towards those who use them and by those who use them I obviously dont know you but I have witnessed countless situations where people go overboard whether it’s looking at their phones during davening or disturbing others and it is very difficult to figure the right formula on how to react. I am just giving one example so don’t react wrongly to what I said

  5. I strongly agree
    However there are people who do have an Haskuma to use a smartphone for business purposes. But most of those people use their phone less then %10 percent for their business. They are busy on the social media all under the same heter they got.
    I strongly believe that a person that has a smartphone that has access only to the apps that he needs for work (no browser), and he uses it only for work, and only at the time of work, he even don’t make phonecalls on his smartphone he has a separate basic phone for calls. such a person has done everything he can do for the torah and we must respcet him

  6. As a yorei shamaim you should be proud that there is such a stigma perhaps you have a heter and are using technology responsibly but unfortunately not all of us are on your madreiga if you begin to break down barriers סיגים it can have disasreros results
    So be happy that you live in a community that cares and if you are doing the correct thing ישר כלל don’t let it bother you
    On a side note I am in the same situation as you and so in order to promote the unnescasary proliferation of smart phones I don’t flaunt that I have one I have a regular phone to use at nights and weekends or even during the day if I don’t need the I phone I use the kosher phone so I need not be a bigger influence on others then need be

    • Pure rubbish! A community that cares, would not call another yid a goy because of a smartphone. The chutzpa of people to condemn someone just because they think that person is not up to par with their own lofty yiras shomayim. PURE SINAS CHEENAM. It’s NOT what the Torah wants us to do. Its NOT what CHAZAL want us to do. It DOES NOT SERVE ANY PURPOSE, other then being מתכבד בקלון חברו! This bitter Galus we are in continues because of this horrible SINAS CHEENAM! You really want to help a fellow not to talk in shul? don’t talk in shul yourself. Want to help someone not to use a smartphone? Try talking and explaining nicely. Call him a goy!? how in the world does that help?
      הוכח תוכיח את עמיתך ולא תישא עליו חטא
      דרכיה דרכי נועם וכל נתיבותיה שלום
      לא תשנא את אחיך בלבבך ואהבת לרעך כמוך
      Do you want someone to speak harshly and be mevaze you in public when you did an aveira? Don’t do it to someone else! Period.

      • Excellent remark! This is exactly what needs to be said against the horrific outright wicked abuse that is being heaped at this man!!


      • Try Another…
        The Gemara says Sina’s Chinam
        Was ‘M’dlo Mechu
        -That they refrained from giving Tochachah !!!

      • Where we’re you lol? The only ones that have it are Americans there on vacation! Like me and you. The rest look at us like absolute abominations which we are for their society.

    • Or the neutered smart phone TAG sells. The other, obvious non-Internet phones are all on Verizon. At least in our local TAG. So it looks like I have a smartphone but I don’t.

  7. What bothers me the most about the anti-smartphone campaign is that they target their material at the kids and teach them to denigrate and disrespect their parents and other adults.

    • Excellent tragic observation. That they do that shows that their intention is not for Shmiras HaTorah but rather because of their own wicked Ga’ava and enjoyment of putting down other people.

  8. If one has to have/use a smartphone, it would be wise to keep it in a inner pocket so no one else has to see you with one. There is no need to advertise to your Charedie neighbors (by the use of these fancy holders) that you have one. Don’t act stupid. Use your brains. Chachom eynuv berosho.

  9. The point is “stop being so judgmental of others” and “keep your comments to yourself”. No one truly knows what is going on in another person’s daled amos. It is NOT up to anyone outside that daled amos to comment or judge and for sure not humiliate another person in any way.

    Tochacha is always given in a kind and gentle way, and it is NOT the responsibility for every person who has an opinion to believe it is up to them to do it. When you look at another person don’t go looking for what you believe to be their faults. Recognize that if you are that kind of person then YOU have a lot of work to do on your own character and correct your own faults. Get busy with your own personal Tikun Olam and stop looking to be M’taken someone else’s.

  10. I have a smartphone for business and I totally understand you. But in all objectivity, the only way to prevent additional people from getting it and it also having a negative impact on their lives, (which I’m sure you agree that you’re phone isn’t only used for business) it needs to be stigmatized. Do you see another way about it without making it acceptable to others who don’t have it yet? Ftr I just came back from Israel where the stigma is way way bigger. However I understand them and much less people have smartphones and have a much higher quality of life.

    • I agree. But the stigma should be communicated generally, to the frum tzibbur. It should be the job of every Tom, Dick and Yankel to go over to another Yid with a smartphone and give tochacha to that person, especially when it should be assumed the user has a heter.

  11. I saw this article earlier and I was thinking of responding but I decided to wait to see what other people think. I am glad I waited. Like the letter writer, I am forced to use a smartphone for work. I did everything I can for years to avoid it. However the comments from people regarding overusing our heter has resonated strongly for me. The idea of locking down the phone and public usage to the level required for work is a strong argument for any yirei shomayim. I need to think about it and it will be difficult as I have gotten very used to the conveniences of a smartphone. May Hashem help us all make the decisions that are best in his eyes.

  12. I dont think anyone needs a smartphone for work just because you were able to fool your Rabbi into giving you permission doesnt mean that you’ll fool me.

    • Are you trying to say you know better than every person in every profession, and are smarter than every rov who has given a heter?

  13. if you want people that got a heter to be on a high level of filtering,then stop shaming them. as someone involved in installation of filters,i have seen people lose their standard big time because of bieng tols how bad they are

  14. My guess is you live in a chareidi neighborhood in Israel. I live in Lakewood and many, many people have it, including Rabbeim. TAG office accommodates all of us that wish to have a filter on our smartphone and no one looks at you funny. When I was in Israel this year, I asked a kid to take a picture of me and my kids with my smartphone and he refused to touch it. I thought it was funny but that’s because I am a tourist. If I lived there, and had to deal with that kind of rejection on an ongoing basis, I’d probably get very depressed. So brother, I feel your pain. I’m not here to judge. I don’t understand why they get so worked up about OTHER PEOPLE having smartphones.

  15. The issue has nothing to do with the smart phone; the issue has to do with the fact that people all over the place think that they are more religious than you and can tell you what to do.

    No one appointed anybody judge and jury and everybody has things that they have to work on. The way that the wives of many of these people who were yelling at you dress is also against Halacha and is probably machshil as many people.

    The rampant excess gashmius is also a disaster.

    Everyone has things to work on but somehow we’re teaching everyone to look at and yell at anyone who THEY think isn’t frum enough.

    If we all would just work on ourselves, we would all do much better.

  16. stigma wont help. the focus should be on the potenioal damages and what to be affraid and be craefull of. the fact is plenty of chashuve people have it. there is a well know chassidishe posek for mental health that has a smart phone. is he a goy too? does it help tznius when we scream shiksa??????? wake up!!! people who are erluch deserve to be treated as such.the same way we work in manhattan no one screams at us shmiras einayim you go we are told responsability you must have or if we need to go to trade shows in vegas we are told to go with our spouces. the fact is a lot of fileds require it and more and more people are getting it. solution focus on dangers of it and solutions. awareness. not goy. noy shaygitz. stasticaly how many people are told how bad they are while they got a heter and are stoping from using their phone. i was once so degraded i told my rov i want to take off my flter and you are to blame. he said why. i said you gave me permission and said do my tenaim and you will be ok. then i get treated badly and shamed. if i am a goy then why filter he replied instead of shomrim cards we should be making chizuk cards. i am a yungergman and keep away from facebook. i learn daven and have s a smartphone and dont contradict my ruchnius etc

    • Excellent analysis of the problem. To call another Jew “a Goy,” RACHMANA LITZLAN, is a horrific Aveira!! At the very worst, he may not be fulfilling the Halachos of the Torah exactly the way he should, but he is still a full Jew!! And here, the person of this article IS fulfilling the Halachos of the Torah exactly the way he should; he is doing absolutely nothing wrong!!

      Furthermore, a Goy is not allowed to not have a filter either!! For the severe problems of Gelui Ariyos – of moral corruption that permeate the Internet (and much of the whole secular media) ARE AGAINST ONE OF THE SHEVA MITZVOS B’NEI NOACH – THEY ARE AGAINST ONE O THE SEVEN CATEGORIES OF RULES OF BASIC HUMAN DECENCY THAT ALL PEOPLE ARE REQUIRED TO ADHERE TO!!

  17. what was tag opened for??? i havent heard a rov curse out tag? why not be both sides.there is a big sakana you need a solid filter and no michsholos. beware of damages. dont need dont use it.need it ask a rov,not convince a rov. make hashem proud. as for birng a goy thats for somone who doesnt do guidelines.

  18. Hey, stop whining. People have been looking cross eyed at others since the beginning of time. Just ignore them!

  19. I too need a smartphone for business purposes. What bothers me the most about this issue is that people assume that if you have an iPhone, you have access to the full web with maybe a filter for the bad stuff. This is entirely false as I and many others I know have shut down the browser and only have a white list that allows the sites that we need. These settings are protected with a password that we don’t have and there’s no way around it. Yes, I allowed Matzav too and there’s nothing wrong with it in my humble opinion. What is wrong with such a phone??? Is it Waze, the weather apps, email or the smart list?? These phones are just as kosher as any other phone and maybe even more so because many of the other phones can easily access the web as well. While I agree that the internet is a dangerous thing, why assume that all smartphone holders have access? People are just way too judgemental!

  20. It’s so inspiring to see everyone basically agree in principle (other than the 1 or 2 stupid and ignorant comments).
    We all agree that a smartphone is a בדיעבד
    We all agree that there are sometimes a hetter.
    We all agree that it should be used for business only as it can creep into all other areas and destroy our lives.

  21. people that like you know better than the gedolim? the gedolim said that we should make tag. look at the kiddish hashem. thousands who need it want to do the right thing. tag is always swamped when i am there. every case is dufffrent agreed.why dont we agree some need it and those who dont wont use it. the dangers must be told and not minimized. focus on problrms like whats app social media blogs etc not that the person is a shaygitz for having one. only he must adresss the issues that come with it even with a filter. a heter canot be abused but you are not a goy if you asked. if somone asked das torah not told and went thru pros and cons and was given a heter he is a erlucher yid if he lives up t his will be suprised ask a tag tech how many people have no browsers only selescted apps. tons of people in lakewood.btw the goy thing doesnt work. when kids are older they explore ask your tag tech….

  22. In Karlin Stolin, the shitah is that those who don’t need it shouldn’t get it, but those who need it can use it with a strong filter and with other guidelines. Download a PDF booklet called the Stolin-Karlin Approach to Technology here:

  23. I have one for work but I do think it’s fine for us to be against it in a big way so that the kids know it’s very b’dieved.

  24. Yes, it’s very easy to be oiver an issur d’oiraysa by using a smartphone (without a filter). R’ Chaim Kanievsky paskens “pasul l’eidus”… Besides, my humble opinion is that 99% of people convince themselves that they “need” it for business. Sad truth is the “want” it for business. Yes, it’s a million times more convenient but do you really “need” it?? A very small percentage of businessmen truly need it. Think about it. Get real. Good luck!

  25. Just tell me this, are you in the business world to know? What do you do for a living? I was in Kollel for many years and didn’t get it at first. A couple of years ago, I entered the business world, and in my area of business it is an absolute must if you are working in the US.

  26. If somebody brings in a dangerous substance in shul that is contagous, would you also say “mind your own bushat all the nonsenseiness? Witl all the heteirim, not one RAV was ever matir to use it in shul and surf up and down in middle of davening. It is truly a MAAMED TZALIM BHEICEL. We try to be mechanech our children the right way and the HASHPAAH it has on them is a dissastor. ANd besides, you and I know the nonsense that people are doing on it, like clips, groups etc. which consists of loshon hara, arayis ruyois asurois etc. Be happy that there are still people that oppose it because if not, who knows what the next step would be CHAS VSHLOM.

    • we are no talking about those types of people. read the letter. we are talking about erkuch peple who want use it right, they exsist. they are not on groups. they shut off ther phones when they daven etc. we are talking abut thse people who get abused and hurt. For no reason. basically the writer is stating dont put everyone in the same boat. be dan lchaf zechus

  27. I wonder how many people are tagging along and using this daas-torah seeking man’s hetter to justify and defend their ownership of assur technology. Just food for thought.

  28. If something was really a top priority, wouldn’t we find away to stick to it? How many of us really need it for business? What business requires WhatsApp Chats, Instagram, SnapChat…?


    Are there any phones anymore that can access email but nothing else online?


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