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Influential Israeli Rabbi: Burn Your iPhone ASAP

Rabbi Haim Kanievsky compares the iPhone to weapons of war

By: Ashley Baylen
Published: September 24th, 2012 in Culture » Society » News

In an official statement published on the front page of Yated Ne’eman, one of the most influential haredi newspapers, Rabbi Haim Kanievsky announced that it was forbidden to own an iPhone, and compared the Smartphone to weapons of war in its potential to harm.

Rabbi Kanievsky is considered one of the five most influential rabbinic authorities, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Kanievsky’s announcement, inspired by several businessman asking him if the iPhone is permissible to use under Jewish law, is not the first public statement of its’ kind. Many ultra-Orthodox rabbis have denounced the use of iPhones, Blackberry’s, Androids, and the Internet in general, citing them as merely easy access points to pornography and other information not supporting by the ultra-Orthodox world.

Before the Internet was developed, members of ultra-Orthodox communities accessed the majority of their information and knowledge from the rabbinic leadership, since mainstream/secular newspapers, television, radio, and libraries were forbidden. Access to Smartphone’s is creating a “spiritual holocaust”, according to Rabbi Lior Glazer and the Eda Haredit communal organization, which recently held a ritual iPhone-smashing ceremony and have banned the use of Smartphone’s entirely.

“Smartphones offer a gateway to the world through which they can access all manner of uncensored information which might influence their identity, despite living within the haredi ghetto,” Prof. Yedidya Stern, director of the Israel Democracy Institute’s project on Religion and State, told The Jerusalem Post.

“Haredim seek to isolate themselves from the world, but using an iPhone or any other type of Smartphone can, with the flick of a finger and in a split second, give someone access to all kinds of information and values to which they were never before exposed,” he continued.

Related articles: Israel, Rabbi, Haredi, Orthodox, Haim Kanievsky, Jewish, Weapons, War, iPhone 5, iPhone, Apple, Android, Blackberry, Burn, Destroy
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