Israel unveils 'first sin-free Yiddish smartphone'

Apr 27, 2011
Ultra Orthodox Jewish pilgrims pray near the concrete wall protecting Rachel's Tomb, Judaism's third holiest shrine in Bethlehem last October. An Israeli telecoms company is offering ultra-Orthodox Jewish clients a kosher smartphone with Hassidic folk music ringtones and a menu in Yiddish, a newspaper says.

An Israeli telecoms company is offering ultra-Orthodox Jewish clients a kosher smartphone with Hassidic folk music ringtones and a menu in Yiddish, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

While other firms have tapped into the religious market by offering phones free of Internet access, with no email or access to Facebook which could lead users into temptation, none has so far offered its services in Yiddish, Yediot Aharonot said.

"This phone has no text messages, , or . It doesn’t even have a camera," said the paper.

"And if you call from it on the Sabbath, you will pay an exorbitant price of 10 shekels ($2 euros) per minute."

And all the menus are in Yiddish -- the traditional German-derived language still widely used by ultra-Orthodox Jews, with the local market estimated at between 350,000 to 400,000 people, the paper said.

Local importer Accel Telecom said it took four months for a pair of ultra-Orthodox translators to come up with the interface which is written in Hebrew characters and uses words such as "Klingen" (ringtone) and "Schirm Verteidikung" (screensaver).

But to win rabbinical approval for the device, which is based on an Alcatel T-701 handset, Accel had to first prove that tech-savvy users would not be able to work their magic to circumvent the safeguards and succumb to sin.

"It is not simple to make the phones kosher and bring them to a level in which you prove that the phone cannot be breached or changed in such a way that it will be possible to send text messages or surf the Internet with it," Accel CEO Mark Seelenfreund told the paper.

Explore further: What's next for the smartphone in a rapidly changing market?

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User comments : 11

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RobertKarlStonjek
1 / 5 (1) Apr 28, 2011
The atheist version has a hot key for porn, autocompletes expletives when typing text messages and has an answering service that automatically activates and selects a plausible excuse when the user is engaged in extra-marital sex (whether or not the sexual partner is ultra-orthodox...)
trekgeek1
5 / 5 (1) Apr 28, 2011
No camera, no internet, and no facebook? I had one of those in 2003! Should have kept my Motorola T720, I could have made some bucks off of these morons. Here's an idea: stop being such a sniveling weirdo who thinks some sky watchers cares if you update your status on facebook. They shouldn't be allowed to use 21st century technology with 1st century minds.
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Apr 28, 2011
This is truly progress for Mankind.
ElDuderino
not rated yet Apr 28, 2011
A country with one of the world leading hi-tech industries, and this is the most exciting tech news you found worthy to publish? Good job, Physorg. Good job.
Beard
not rated yet Apr 28, 2011
They shouldn't be allowed to use 21st century technology with 1st century minds.


I'd love to see what someone from the 1st century would do when introduced to our technology.
Nephrops110
not rated yet Apr 28, 2011
They shouldn't be allowed to use 21st century technology with 1st century minds.


I'd love to see what someone from the 1st century would do when introduced to our technology.


Even they would want to update their Facebook status occasionally
Ricochet
not rated yet Apr 28, 2011
Trekgeek, I have to draw the line there when you call them "morons". Just because, from our perspective, they're antiquated, backwards, and think that all other Jewish denominations aren't truly Jewish, doesn't mean you should bring their intelligence into question.
6_6
not rated yet Apr 29, 2011
I feel embarrassed at reading this article... *shakes head* if all that prevents you from sinning is technology, then you have bigger problems...
pauljpease
not rated yet May 02, 2011
No camera, no internet, and no facebook? I had one of those in 2003! Should have kept my Motorola T720, I could have made some bucks off of these morons. Here's an idea: stop being such a sniveling weirdo who thinks some sky watchers cares if you update your status on facebook. They shouldn't be allowed to use 21st century technology with 1st century minds.


I think the jury is still out on whether the great American experiment of rampant atheism with its attendant decline in morality has been a success. Judging by the numbers of unemployed, uninsured, unfed and homeless (compared to ultra-religious groups), it looks like atheism has failed. Not to say that believing in God is the answer, just that a complete lack of morality doesn't seem all that attractive.
J-n
not rated yet May 02, 2011
Saying that Atheists are completely lacking in morals is insulting and completely untrue.

Mexico has more people reporting that they are christian than most other nations. Have you ever seen the unemployment in Mexico City?

You mention that Uninsured unfed and homeless as areas that Atheists have failed at providing. Remember that the Republican party is the group that is typically associated with the christians here in the USA. I seem to recall that the Republicans are against giving the poor insurance, food, or housing.

The bible does say some things about the poor..
Luke 6:20-21. Blessed are you who are poor, for yours in the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh


Maybe because they're going to be blessed in the afterlife those who are christians don't think the poor need help now in this life.

Personally as an Atheist I vote for helping those in need on this earth.
Javinator
not rated yet May 02, 2011
Good thing they took out all the extras like
text messages, Internet access, Facebook...email...a camera
and just left it with the cell phone technology they had back in the Old World.

Sigh...