Just as the new iPhone 5 was being unveiled on Wednesday, one man was striking a blow against all things Apple.

A rabbi in Bnei Brak, known as “the preacher of uprightness,” invited dozens of his students to an iPhone-smashing ceremony at a synagogue in the city’s Pardess Katz neighborhood.

First reported by Devorah Ginzburg on haredi news website Lada’at, Rabbi Lior Glazer began by delivering an impassioned sermon on ethical behavior, a traditional theme in the Jewish month of Elul leading up to Rosh Hashana.

During his tirade, given from behind a table with an iPhone sitting on it, the rabbi inveighed against anyone possessing the popular smart phone.

“A religious person who owns this impure device is an abomination and a disgusting, vile villain,” Glazer said.

He then gave an account of a man who had purchased an iPhone, which “ruined his life” and on account of which he got divorced from his wife.

At the end of his sermon, the rabbi recited a brief prayer requesting that God defeat the nation of Amalek, an ancient enemy of the Israelites and Jewish people used as a catchall for evil in general. He then proceeded to smash the offending iPhone with a hammer in front of his audience until it was left in pieces on the table.

Haredi leaders have frequently denounced smart phones and the Internet because of the open access it provides to pornography, as well as sources of information beyond the strict confines of the ultra-Orthodox world.

Back in February the radical Eda Haredit communal organization posted pashkavillim, broad printed notices, around Mea She’arim in Jerusalem banning iPhones, Android smart phones, BlackBerrys and similar devices, declaring that they have brought a “spiritual holocaust and “seriously endanger the holiness of the House of Israel.”

And in May, haredi leaders in New York staged a rally against the dangers of the Internet to an ultra-Orthodox lifestyle, attended by 40,000 men at the city’s Citi Field stadium.

Many haredim have “kosher” cellphones which have no Internet connection and cannot send or receive text messages.

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