Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, an influential ultra-Orthodox rabbi, says it is forbidden for religious Jews to own an iPhone and has instructed his followers to burn the device if they own one. It’s not that Kanievsky sides with Android in the smartphone war, but that he’s concerned about what observant Jews will see with such a device. Burning ones iPhone seems a drastic measure, but Kanievsky wasn’t the only Jewish leader with angst against Apple’s iPhone this week.
Now that Labor Day has come and gone, we have officially entered into the silly season of American politics. The truth, of course, is that nothing about it is silly; quite the opposite. But once the candidates are formally nominated and the campaign reaches its most intense stage, truth tends to take a leave of absence, hyperbole reigns, and promises are handed out like crisp one dollar bills.
If further evidence is needed that the divide between the Orthodox and the rest of the Jewish community is widening, consider that 250,000 Israelis attended the funeral yesterday of a revered 102-year-old Torah sage in Jerusalem who is virtually unknown to American Jews outside the Orthodox world.
The ABC’s of religious pluralism in a Jerusalem classroom.
Jerusalem — For 15-year-old Ella Gal, “the other” isn’t an Israeli-Arab teen from Jaffa or a Palestinian high schooler in Ramallah. He’s the boy in the kipa sitting next to her in class.
Gal, whose father was raised secular but whose non-religious mother was brought up Orthodox, attends the Keshet School in the Katamonim neighborhood of Jerusalem, an oasis of religious pluralism in an increasingly divided Israeli society.
This week I was honored to deliver the Cape Town, South Africa, community-wide keynote address for Yom Yerushalayim. Hundreds gathered together in a powerful celebration of the liberation of Jerusalem 45 years ago (28th of Iyar 1967). I was reminded of the power of Jerusalem to unite the Jewish people.