Can you dispatch the lightning on a mission And have it answer you, “I am ready”? Job 38:35 (The Israel Bible™)
The story began when a Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) woman became concerned after her husband purchased a smartphone, referred to in religious circles as a machshir treif (unkosher appliance). When she confronted him about his decision, he tried to assuage her concerns in what may have been a jesting manner.
“I have good intentions,” he told his wife. “I believe the Messiah will arrive any moment and I want to be among the first to hear about it. Smartphones get instant updates and if I follow them, I will hear about it before anyone else.”
The wife was understandably perplexed so she wrote a letter to Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein, the head of the rabbinical court of the Ramat Elchanan neighborhood of Bnei Brak. He responded unequivocally.
“This claim is very ridiculous, and one is not allowed to fill his mouth with silliness in this world,” Rabbi Zilberstein responded. “You have nothing that brings ridicule like this stupid claim. Anyone who has one of these unclean devices will not only be the very last one to be updated concerning the Messiah, but he will not even hear about the arrival of the Messiah at all.”
Rabbi Zilberstein gave his opinion of the nature of cellphones by recounting the case of Yahya Ayyash who was the chief bombmaker of Hamas and the leader of the West Bank battalion of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades in the early 1990’s. The rabbi related how in 1995, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) placed 15 grams of volatile explosives in a cell phone and had an intermediary give the device to Ayyash. When it was used for a phone call, the Shin Bet confirmed that it was Ayyash on the phone and remotely detonated it, killing the terrorist leader instantly.
“He is now in the world that is entirely bad,” Zilberstein said. “Certainly when the holy Messiah arrives, God will bring upon us a spirit of holiness from above and all of these impure gadgets will explode and nothing of them will remain. The more impure they are, the greater the explosion will be.”
“So your husband believes he will be updated upon the Messiah’s arrival but there will be no way, no phone, to update him, no phone number to reach him. He needs to pray that no harm will come to him from the device he now holds in his hand.”
“Therefore you can answer your husband that the more he stays away from these devices, the sooner he will hear about the arrival of the Messiah.”
A Google search revealed another essential fault in the husband’s claim.There are not currently any apps that claim to update the user about changes in the status of the Messiah though Breaking Israel News certainly tries to provide that service with its twice-daily newsletter.