Did you know that your iPhone, iPad, and/or Android gadget is not considered kosher by some parts of the Jewish community? In fact, last month an influential ultra-Orthodox rabbi in Israel told his followers to go ahead and burn their très traif iToys. But how are religious Jews supposed to stay in touch? Why, with a kosher phone, natch!
See among the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community there is concern that phones with fancy smartphone features could lead to immodesty among its community members (also allow them easy access to the wider world, but that is neither here nor there). A man with a smartphone can "be in synagoge, but if he is holding this he's not really there at all." And so religious figures are pushing their flock to instead use cellphones that are equipped with a bare minimum of features, or have their abilities artificially limited. Specifically the rabbinate are pushing folks to use phones that have an official kosher seal when they start up—just like with kosher food. Think of them as "burners," but for the faithful instead of drug dealers.
Kosher phones aren't exactly a new development—rabbis have been fearful of the technology for years—but the recent international push, which included last month's approved phone-burning, somehow seems a bit more aggressive. But then again, we admit our tastes don't exactly give us much ground to stand on when it comes to keeping kosher.