Thursday, February 19, 2015

Psak from Rav Shteinman iPhone owner as witness to a wedding

Interesting Psak: iPhone owner as witness to a wedding

Rav Shteinman was asked about the validity of using someone who owns an iPhone for witnessing a wedding. 
Supposedly, his answer was, that there are two different types of prohibitions one can violate that might invalidate him from being a witness; a prohibition that has the punishment of malkus, lashes, attached to it, and a prohibition that does not have lashes as a punishment. 
A prohibition with lashes would invalidate the person from being a witness at a "d'oraisa" level, while a prohibition without lashes would invalidate him but only at a rabbinic level..

Rav Shteinman said that having an iPhone does not qualify one for lashes, so it only invalidates the bearer at a rabbinic level from being a witness.

Rav Shteinman also supposedly said two other points.
1. while it is common for the rabbi officiating at a wedding to tell the witnesses to do tshuva right then in order to ensure they are kosher witnesses (in case they had done anything wrong in the past that might invalidate them), Rav Shteinman said they often do not actually do tshuva. Using such witnesses is a problem.
2. He commented on the expense of the iPhone, when they told him how much it costs. He compared it to an esrog and said in wonderment that it costs more than an esrog, and also expressed his surprise or anguish that people would pay so much money in order to sin! It is expensive to sin, but people will pay the price for that ability!

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