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The Kosher Phone for Orthodox Jews

In these modern times, even Orthodox Jews need cell phones. But with all the rules this ultra-religious group must abide by, a seemingly simple requirement such as a mobile phone becomes decidedly less simple. With all the spam, sexy photos, and 50 Cent ringtones out there, cell phones can prove challenging for Orthodox Jews.

To fill the void, a kosher cellie has hit the streets of Jerusalem, aimed at this niche market (not that niche, though -- at least 800,000 of Israel's 7.1 million Jews are ultra-Orthodox, and a whole infrastructure of kosher gadgets and gizmos is cropping up to serve them).

Fun isn't exactly the word that comes to mind when looking over the features of this handset: It can't send or receive text messages, take pictures, or connect to the Internet; it blocks more than 10,000 phone-sex numbers, and rabbinical overseers ensure that the block lists are up to date. Users can call fellow kosher phones at the discounted rate of 2 cents a minute, as opposed to the standard 9.5 cents ("Challah at me!"), but if they place calls on Shabbat (using electronic devices on the Sabbath or other holy days is a big no-no for Jews), it'll run them a whopping $2.44 a minute.

Oh, and to guarantee that no one will be whipping this out in a club to impress the ladies, the phone flashes the seal of a rabbinate council on start-up.

From New York Times (via Gearlog)

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Tags: kosher gadgets, KosherGadgets, religion



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