Smartphone (illustration)
Smartphone (illustration)Israel news photo: Flash 90

A smartphone catering to the haredi community and approved by a rabbinical committee is set to be launched in Israel in the near future, announced Rabbi David Zilbershlag at the Ariel Conference for Ethics in the Media.

Haredi rabbis have in the past strongly opposed advanced mobile devices, claiming that they are a corrupting influence. Zilbershlag however said that the smartphones would not be opposed, saying that they would mostly handle e-mail, Israel’s business daily Globes news reported.

Zilbershlag said that such a device was needed, in part because of the need for haredim to earn a living, and that it would provide a solution similar to the "levels of kashrut" in previous generations of mobile phone, according to Globes.

He said that while an estimated that 40 percent of haredim do access the Internet, it is still considered to be one of "the greatest threats of all time" to the insular community.

Zilbershlag said he believes that the haredim will have to establish their own Internet in the future, similar to the closed Internet operated by the Pentagon, in order to create "a clean environment with boundaries,” Globes reported.