anti-tech A message urging people to destroy their iPhones for Ovadia Yosef's health

Published on September 25th, 2013 | by Ido Kenan


Break an iPhone for Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s Health

A new initiative rides on Shas’s spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s medical condition to convince people to destroy their iPhones.

Ultra-orthodox Jews have long been fighting against the Internet and the means by which to reach it, namely computers, cellphones and smartphones. “No entrance! To owners of iPhone and its likes or breached Internet”, says a pamphlet recently distributed in Jerusalem and posted on the streets. Breached Internet means full Internet connection, not filtered against nudity, porn, violence and other un-religious or anti-religious content, as opposed to Kosher Internet, which is filtered according to rabbinical rules. The other side of the pamphlet shows a little blond, blue eyed girl saying: “Merciful people of Israel! Pray for my father! That he throws away his iPhone and Internet and not tear our family apart!”

Ovadia Yosef is in serious health condition – he’s currently hospitalized, and in the past days had been put on a respirator, had a pacemaker inserted and undergone dialysis, as Haaretz reports. A message calling people to destroy their iPhones for Yosef’s health is being disseminated by Atidenu (“Our Future”), a group which urges people to disconnect from the Internet, ironically by using the Internet itself to spam them. The message by Atidenu, which loyal reader Omri Weil posted to Facebook, reads (in Hebrew):

Emergency Notification
We love you Maran [a title given to exceptionally respected rabbis – Ed.] we salute without iPhone

10,000 broken iPhones for the health of
Maran Rabbi Ovadia Yosef son of Georgia

Break the iPhone and you saved Maran.

You got to break the treif [un-kosher – Ed.] device in your possession,
donated blood and oxygen to the life of Maran Shlita [Hebrew acronym for “may he live for many good days, Amen” – Ed.]

A message urging people to destroy their iPhones for Ovadia Yosef's health

The anti-iPhone campaign isn’t necessarily targeting Apple’s smartphone – in spoken Hebrew, iPhone is often used as a generic name for any cellphone/smartphone, much like Kleenex is used in English to describe any tissue-paper.

About the Author

Ido Kenan is founder of Room 404, a longtime Digital Culture journalist and a raiser of two cats

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