published Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Israeli rabbi to followers: Burn your iPhones

Poll
Could you live without your smartphone?

JERUSALEM - An influential ultra-Orthodox Israeli rabbi has ordered his followers to burn their iPhones, the latest attempt by the insular community to keep the outside world at bay.

The religious Yated Neeman newspaper published the ban on its front page this week, as mainstream Israeli newspapers were gushing about Apple Inc.'s eagerly anticipated new smartphone, the iPhone 5.

The decree by Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky came ahead of Judaism's holiest day, Yom Kippur, which begins Tuesday. It said that it was forbidden to own the smartphone, and those who already had one must burn theirs.

Israel's growing ultra-Orthodox minority tenaciously guards its traditional way of life against the influence of the secular majority. Many shun TVs and computers to avoid images that break their standards of modesty and values.

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