Vus Hertzech Now?

We knew it was coming. When the controversey over cellular telephones in Israel began over the accessibility of questionable material erupted, we knew it was only a matter of time before we would need rabbinnic seals of approval on wireless devices. Well here it is – An Israeli cell phone company has rolled out a “Kosher Phone” specifically for the Haredi community, that comes complete with a Tuedat Hechsher stamped on the device.

17 thoughts on “Vus Hertzech Now?

  1. what kind of lunacy is that ? regular telephones, not to mention cars also allow ‘corrupting influences’ to be easily accessed, don’t they?
    between things like this and the rabbinical ruling on NYC water recently, it makes me wonder if some rabbis don’t have a little too much time on their hands or something

  2. Sorry to post twice in a row but this seems interesting:
    I was just re-reading the NY Times article on the water that I referenced
    and this paragraph seems possibly applicable to this situation-
    “The controversy is indicative of deepening religious conservatism in the American Orthodox world. William B. Helmreich, a professor of sociology and Judaic studies at the City University of New York Graduate Center, said that “in a society where people feel via the Internet and television their very values are under constant attack, there’s a need for people to reassert their level of religiosity, and one way this is done is by discovering new restrictions which give people the opportunity to demonstrate their adherence to their faith.”

  3. Its not lunacy, its a tech companmy capitalizing on a religious fear of human weakness.
    Dont knock either till you tried it.

  4. I’m surprised they haven’t figured out a way to get the phones to not operate on Shabbat. Or, in the style of Shabbat elevators, to have the phones automatically call people on your list every two hours, so since the line is already open you may as well talk, without violating Shabbat!

  5. actually (see a previous post) they already done that with credit cards that wont work on shabbos
    to get the merchants to not have the stores open on shab

  6. You all seem to miss the underlying issue here. The fact is that as cell phones get more and more hooked up with G3 etc.. There is more access to things that certainly are not going to bring you closer to g-d.
    While most of us have pretty much eradicated smut pop ups from our every day life, and use every spam filter known, we do see more provocative pictures of women a week than any of our parents saw during their whole youth, and more than their parents saw during their entire life.
    As technology is utilized for more deviant uses everyday, people who still care about modesty ( i know it sounds so old fashioned and uncool) will continue to find ways to block those influences they find wrong while continueing to utilize the technology to make their lives better.
    So that you know any of the people using these so called kosher phones and kosher internet would never use a “shabbos elevator” even though tey are permissable halchaicly by the letter of the law it certainly is not in keeping with the spirit of shabbos.
    the credit card that wont work on shabbos on from the clearing side and not the transactional side, so if you are an observant jew, and you own a website, you cannot take it down eevry shabbos. people can complete the tranaction but the clearing house does not process it from the sellers side until after shabbos…. The fact that transactions can take place over many time zone s and it could be shabbos somewhere while not someplace else raises further issues. If people would like i could publish some responsa on the topic….

  7. Do u need a Machgiach present when making a call? hehe
    William B. Helmreich should mind his own business and go back to his internet porn (j/k)

  8. The insanity will end only when we, the people, end it. People tend to relegate the responsibility for their religious decisions to religious authorities. But remember, the authorities are only human. Study, and make your own decisions.

  9. Most interesting about the endeavor is that “The rabbis not only will inform their community at a press conference today that they should buy the MIRS phone, but will also declare a ban on other cellular operators.” check out the Haaretz article for more details…
    and not to nitpick but why the non-standard orthography on the Yiddish?

  10. Ami I am in total agreement with you . UNfortunatly the Chereidi “authorities” have over the years knee jerked their way farther and farther away from the intent of the halacha. The spirit of what is attempting to be kept sacred.
    I myself being “chareidi” have a very difficult time with the central descion makers, but cannot totally dismiss their intentions.
    Funny thing is i was having a conversation with my personal trainer who happens to a super hot indian girl . She was wondering why the “hasid” on the plance asked for her to be moved from the adjoining seat. Unfortunatly while there is halchic presidence I told he she should take it as the ultimate compliment. here was a man who felt so threatened by her beauty that he realized he would have machshava zarot etc.. While i dont agree at all, I totally understand.
    I have always found it interesting how little tolerance the radical fundametalist left has with religion as a whole and chariedim in particular. So strange how acceptance and cultural diversity etc gets chucked when they dont toe the line with the lefts belief system

  11. There seems to be a fundamental question at the heart of this discussion as to whether any authority is allowed in a Jew’s life except the authority of one’s own will. This is pretty silly for a person who already accepts G-d’s authority as revealed in Torah. People who desire to persuade others in their belief or action have many means to do so. This situation does not sound like coercion.
    The kosher phone is a way to meet a need, no matter how puny you may believe the attempt is, and if a person does not have a problem in that area then they have nothing to worry about – we hope. Meanwhile, as long as it is not mandated by any nation, or entity that you have to use such a phone then it is just one more product to be used by those who wish to and profited from by those intelligent enough to know how to. It is not an illegitamate endeavor in either direction. I find it strange that such objections of a halachically permissable phone, bought and sold in a free market should even be raised.

  12. The problem, grubness, is that not all women think that being called “hot” or having a man view them only as a sex object is “the ultimate compliment.” Perhaps your hot indian trainer does – that’s her decision. I think the woman whom the hasid wanted moved (btw, I love the passive) has every right to ask this haredi to control his imagination, if he is so concerned. I know you didn’t actually agree with him, but at the end of your post you still sound as if you are defending his request. In any case, we shouldn’t fetishize tolerance.

  13. Grubness – If you find your trainer “super hot,” and you agree that a person should be keeping his distance from temptation, don’t you think it’s worth revisiting how close you should be to her? Just asking…

  14. Hi,
    I think that it should be known that it is a personal choice to use such a thing- it is certainly not mandatory… If one devotes themselves to standards which might be harmed by easy access to undesireable internet and other services, then this might help…
    Although I think that maybe it would make sense to instead enable a kind of ‘Family Filter’ on it, instead of disabling completely…
    Again, such an idea, I assume, would seemingly be aimed at *helping* people, not restricting people…
    May we not need such things, since the new Era of Moshiach will become the reality, wherein it says ‘I will lift the spirit of impurity from the earth’- ie. there will be no non-good, both on the personal level, and in the world at large… May it be now!

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