Some feel the new dati leumi version of a kosher phone is “more realistic” since it addresses today’s realities, people desire and at times need to have a phone that does more than deliver phone calls.
While many prominent rabbonim including a number of gedolei yisrael have spoken out in no uncertain terms regarding the threats of the internet, the fact remains many require internet connectivity for parnasa. This has been recognized by some gedolim, who make exceptions for those requiring filtered internet if such a move is necessitated by efforts to earn a living. This heter however has not been transferred to smartphones, where are banned in the chareidi community where the kosher phone may now be referred to as the glatt kosher phone compared to its dati leumi equivalent.
According to Ynet, there is now the Telephonetto, a new device that was designed by Europhone, with the latter working with rabbonim who believe they have come up with a prototype that will conform to rabbinical restrictions while meeting with approval of demanding teens. Kiryat Arba Principal Rabbi Avinoam Horowitz hopes this phone will find favor in the eyes of his peers and the dati leumi public schools will ban smartphones that have internet access. The rabbi simply feels the dati leumi community must address the threats of the internet and today, most teens have smartphones and this too must be addressed by rabbonim and teachers.
Rabbi Horowitz hopes the new phone will be the response to the unfiltered access available on smartphones, which he feels will corrupt the neshamas of the young and impressionable. While the new dati leumi kosher phone permits audio and hosts a memory card and camera, it does block internet and video access.
Rabbi Horowitz feels today’s high-tech world is more dangerous than many realize, for in addition to the threats from the internet and online content, there is the reality that children no longer play or associate with one another but they are enslaved by their devices.
Some schools have already undertaken to limit students to these dati leumi kosher phones but at present, it appears acceptance of the new Modern Orthodox Kosher Phone will be limited at best as many homes in the dati leumi community have unfiltered internet, as well as televisions and other gadgetry that are not found in chareidi homes.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)