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Old 03-31-2006, 05:44 PM   #1
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Jews and Arabs can find common ground

in cyber space.

Some Arab companies even have inquired about the phone's main feature: keeping out sex lines and other worldly temptations.

Quote:
'Kosher Cellphones' Draw Line at Objectionable Calls
The devices block sex and dating numbers. The makers look beyond Israel's Orthodox Jews.
From the Associated Press

March 31, 2006



JERUSALEM — It sounds like the setup for a punch line: What do you get when you cross an ultra-Orthodox rabbi with a mobile phone?

But the "kosher phone" is real and its developers are serious about looking beyond the religious enclaves of Israel. Some Arab companies even have inquired about the phone's main feature: keeping out sex lines and other worldly temptations.

"There's interest out there in a conservative phone," said Abrasha Burstyn, chief executive of Mirs Communications Ltd., an Israeli subsidiary of Motorola Inc. and pioneer of the kosher mobile that debuted last year.

The phones — carrying the seal of approval from Israel's rabbinical authorities — have been one of the most successful mergers of technology and centuries-old tradition in the ultra-Orthodox community, which is most widely recognized by the men's black garb based on the dress of 19th century European Jews.

The kosher phone is stripped down to its original function: making and receiving calls. There's no text messaging, no Internet access, no video options, no camera. More than 10,000 numbers for phone sex, dating services and other offerings are blocked. A team of rabbinical overseers makes sure the list is up to date.

These are the same rabbis who have told followers to scorn TV and radio. But mobile phones are considered just too essential in one of the world's most tech-friendly nations.

The ultra-Orthodox account for about 14% of Israel's 7 million people.

Now Mirs is thinking bigger. Talks are underway to introduce a kosher phone to Jewish communities in the United States and other nations, possibly this year. Israeli Arabs — about 20% of the population — have also taken notice of the phones as a possible option for those trying to protect conservative Islamic sensibilities.

Some Arab cellphone providers see the same attraction. They have sought information from Mirs via envoys from Jordan, which has a peace treaty with Israel, Burstyn said.

"This was a unique product for a unique brand of customer," he said. "But we see some potential beyond this niche market."

The kosher phone is an example of demand leading the way for supply.

In late 2004, a rabbinical panel was formed to study how to bridge the need for cellular phones and ultra-Orthodox codes. The community was torn.

Some saw the phones as a nonthreatening convenience. Others believed that the sophisticated phones offered an unhealthy freedom: the ability to download pornography or to make furtive contact with the opposite sex — restricted in ultra-Orthodox society.
Could be a market for this also in some "Bible Belt" states and Utah.
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Old 03-31-2006, 06:11 PM   #2
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They can expect plenty of calls from Alabama.
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Old 03-31-2006, 11:01 PM   #3
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How do they deal with the internet?
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Old 03-31-2006, 11:06 PM   #4
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
How do they deal with the internet?

"The kosher phone is stripped down to its original function: making and receiving calls. There's no text messaging, no Internet access, no video options, no camera. More than 10,000 numbers for phone sex, dating services and other offerings are blocked. A team of rabbinical overseers makes sure the list is up to date."
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Old 03-31-2006, 11:32 PM   #5
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I read that part. If you want to stop the influx of "objectionable material" I'd think the internet poses more of a "threat" than mobile phones.
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Old 04-01-2006, 02:51 AM   #6
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I understand what you are saying.

I think the Rabbis and Conservative Moslems and anyone else that finds the way cell phones are used have the right idea with the "Kosher phone."

Instead of fighting their battle against all cell phones and the applications
the creation of what they consider an appropriate device makes sense for their use.


Concerning the Internet and applications on personal computers?
Why not design/ create a "Kosher" browser application and / or personal computer that is only capable of being used in what they consider appropriate ways.

Many conservative parents might prefer it in their homes,
to control what their children can view.

I think this is the right approach.

If some one does not want alcohol, tobacco, magazines, or South Park in their homes
the answer is controlling what is allowed in and not trying to get it banned outright.
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Old 04-01-2006, 03:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep



If some one does not want alcohol, tobacco, magazines, or South Park in their homes
the answer is controlling what is allowed in and not trying to get it banned outright.
Wow, this is the answer to so many issues in life. Why is it, that so many don't get it?

One of the best post in a long time!
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Old 04-02-2006, 06:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
Why not design/ create a "Kosher" browser application and / or personal computer that is only capable of being used in what they consider appropriate ways.
Several services of this type already exist; the most popular is probably The JNet, an ISP with "halakha-friendly" filters. However, from a haredi (ultra-Orthodox) standpoint, the problem with these options is that unlike this very limited-feature cellphone, they can never be truly "kosher"--kosher by definition implies 100% compliance with Jewish law, and it's just not possible to design a 100% foolproof Internet filter. I would imagine the same problem exists for conservative Muslims. There are also some extranet/gateway services that allow access to a predetermined, rabbinically approved selection of websites only (you must submit a request for approval if you want a site added) and in theory, these are "kosher"; however, they're obviously not adequate for everyone's e-access needs. It's a thorny problem, especially because so many ultra-Orthodox Jews work in the computer industry and require wide-ranging Internet access for professional reasons.

I'm puzzled by the article's claim that the ultra-Orthodox comprise 14% of Israel's population. Every other source I've seen puts that figure around 6%.
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