Rabbi Haim Kanievsky, who ranks in
some estimations among the top five most influential rabbinic authorities,
issued a public notice on Sunday saying that anyone who owns an Apple iPhone should burn it.
In the pronouncement, published on the front page
of Yated Neeman - the most influential haredi newspaper - as well as several
other ultra-Orthodox dailies, Rabbi Kanievsky said that it is completely
forbidden to own an iPhone, comparing the device to weapons of war in its
potential to cause harm.
Rabbi Kanievsy’s public announcement is
part of a general offensive being waged by many ultra-Orthodox rabbis at the
moment, who frequently denounce smart phones and the Internet because of the
ready access they provide to pornography, as well as sources of information
beyond the strict confines of the ultra-Orthodox world.
Many members of the
ultra-Orthodox community have “kosher” cell phones that have no Internet
connection and cannot send or receive text messages.