Kosher smartphones answer to a higher authority
Devices that comply with ultra-Orthodox Jewish law are now available, but only chosen ones can get one.
The religiously conservative Jews, also called Haredi, objected to smartphones because they allow users free access to the Internet and the wider secular culture, including pornography. To address these fears, companies serving the community, such as Ramit Levy Communications, are "dumbing down" the devices by restricting a user's ability to surf the Net.
Ramit Levy does give users access to some 600 apps that its religious advisers have approved in areas such as banking and satellite navigation, according to the paper.
Ironically, the phone Ramit Levy is modifying is the LG Nexus 4, dubbed the Google (GOOG) Phone because the search engine giant developed it to show off the very technology that caused the Haredi no end of worries.
However, users have to be chosen to buy the phones, and getting chosen isn't easy. Students at religious schools, for one, are rejected because they should be focusing on their studies.
"To apply for one, you have to complete a form outlining your reasons for needing a smart phone, and secure the approval of your rabbi, whose name and phone number must be written down so that the company’s supervising rabbis can decide whether they think that you can be trusted to use it responsibly," the Forward says. "They accept work-related reasons, but not requests for recreational -- or what they deem frivolous -- use."
Ramit Levy's rival in the market is Nativ, which sells a phone that is even more "kosher" because it's stripped of its ability to send and receive calls in order to limit their use to work hours.
Even isolated communities have to make peace with the modern world.
Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr and at jonathanberr.com.
This is ridiculous. You can't isolate people from everyday society. It's a phone for god sakes! If you think granting permission, restricting the internet and placing strict peramaters is going to keep people from these "evils" you are just naive. If religion is that important, those principles and practices will take precedent in these people's lives and they will use the phone moderately and not go overboard. I'm curious to know how many of these Orthodox jews that keep kosher actually follow it by the book. It really makes you wonder. Afterall... who wouldn't grow tired of all these restrictions?
Just the beginning....
.....remember how kosher only pertained to meat, pickles, wine, and other select items....
.....and now dish detergent, laundry detergent, plastic/aluminum wrap, plastic cups, paper plates, ice,
eggs, milk, cream, orange juice, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, salsa, fries, ice cream, pasta, butter, cookies, cakes, pudding, dough, bread, tortillas, peanut butter, etc......
....to the point where you can barely find a product without a kosher symbol on it, P, U, K, or D....
....with companies supposedly paying billions to Rabbi's and synagogues to have these symbols on their products, and the companies then passing the cost on to the consumers....
....and now non-food related items will now be deemed kosher, with telephone companies allegedly paying for this status....
....with persons of other faiths forced to pay for this every time these items are purchased, since there are nearly no alternatives - with even Easter & Christmas food and dessert items having kosher symbols....
....with much of the monies reportedly being used for Apartheid actions in the Middle East and elsewhere.
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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