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.
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.
tirade, given from behind a table with an iPhone sitting on it, the rabbi
inveighed against anyone possessing the popular smart phone.
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
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
Many haredim have “kosher” cellphones which have no Internet
connection and cannot send or receive text messages.