In Israel, there are Rabbis who said that smartphones (calling it פלאפון לא כשר) are considered things who are forbidden to have, according to the Halacha.
But what are the reasons for this prohibition?
And also, what is the case with Jews who are living out of Israel, like in America or in Europe? Are smartphones forbidden for them also?
Are there any conditions that would allow smartphone usage, according to the Halacha?
Thank you in advance.
There are a number of reasons for this, however the main reason is because it gives the person easy access to all sorts of pictures, movies, and a lot worse, which we are not allowed to look at. The facts are that no one can really guarantee, that He will be so strong to have to ability to see all of this filth, and actually stay away from it. I know of a story where a certain Rabbi gave a speech about smartphones, to a group of about 50 laymen, who contented, “nah, we are careful with what we look at”. To this he answered them, “I have with me $500, with me and I am willing to give it to anyone who will give me their smartphone, so I can look at all the sites that you have been to in the last 3 days”… No one was willing to submit his smartphone! Besides this, the open internet opens a person up to all sorts of ideologies, that can contain avoda zara, and all sorts of warped ideas. We may disagree with them at first, but they have a deep effect on the person. The above applies to any open internet, however it is even more dangerous when the person can access the internet wherever he is in private and has no fear of someone seeing what he is looking at.
As far as I know the Rabbonim in the United States, all agree that one should not have a smartphone with open internet. You should speak to your Rov regarding the specifics of this, but there are a number of filters and services that one can get for their phones, depending on your locale. One just has to be careful to get a filter that he and his children can’t get around…