G-d hates fun

The Gothamist points to an article in the Wall Street Journal about how the cellphone market has found God. An ultra-orthodox rabbi has introduced a line of feature-free cellphones for the pious but easily distracted:
In late 2004, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi asked Abrasha Burstyn, the chief executive of a small Israeli cellphone company, for a phone that could put the secular world on hold.

Cellphone companies, at the time, had started to load their products with entertainment features, and the rabbi wanted none of it. He was in search of a phone without Internet capabilities or text messaging. He didn't want cameras, music downloading, or anything else that could "distract" the pious. He was looking for a device that could make and receive calls. Period.

Mr. Burstyn, 58 years old, soon found that many other Jews were hunting for similar, simpler cellphones. "They are listening to the rabbis," Mr. Burstyn says. Last March his company, MIRS Communications Ltd., rolled out its first batch of "kosher" phones stripped down of all features but basic voice service. The company's phones, which are available only in Israel, have attracted 20,000 subscribers. [WSJ.com]
Image: What the rabbis are up against, cell-phone pouch available in Star of David or Mah Jongg

The Gothamist]

--> Sign up for Peek in your inbox... every morning! (Go here and check Peek box).

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.