Monday, December 27, 2010

Have we become Amish?

Hamodia this past week printed a letter where the letter writer was very upset that an article a month ago seemed to promote computer use among students. He writes:

there are numerous Gedolei Yisrael who have clearly stated that it is wrong for children to use any form of technology

The Author responds that yes the letter writer is right, however out in the field we can't say this.

This is unbelievable. It is wrong for children to use technology? How do their kids get to school? By horse and buggy? Do they not use electricity? Where do you draw the line?

Below is the complete text of the letter and the response.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Advertising to Charedim

Ynet has a very interesting article on the subject Tapping into haredi ad market

This is a good follow on to my post from a few days ago.

One of the most interesting points is all of the restrictions.

The restrictions in the ultra-Orthodox advertising world are many and varied. Every newspaper has its own Rabbis committee and a head censor who works for them called 'the auditor'. His is in charge of making sure the content published in the newspaper is suitable for the readers' moral values. He approves or disqualifies commercials and makes sure they are photo-shopped, incase there is any hint of femininity.
Women are not allowed to be shown at all, not even little girls. "We take security precautions because man is born evil," explains Eitan Dovkin, director of Habetzefer's haredi satellite. Publishing women's first names is also not allowed. For example, the opposition leader Tzipi Livni is referred to as Mrs. Livni and pregnancy is referred to as "the time before giving birth" or "when you are expecting". 

"Using only the Yiddish language is not a good idea and neither is showing a skullcap in every situation. An ultra-Orthodox watching a doctor with a skullcap will think: 'Do they think I'm stupid? My doctor is secular", says Menachem Eichler, co-CEO Cultures McCann for the ultra-Orthodox sector.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Touch screen kosher phone???

This is why I can't take the whole kosher phone thing seriously. If all you are supposed to be doing with your phone is making calls, then a touch screen phone is completely unnecessary and is in fact a step backwards. What exactly do you need a touch screen for? In fact why do you need 3G if you don't have a data plan? In fact, for actually making phone calls a touch screen can be quite annoying. It is clear that this is being done to keep up with the Jones's and is a money making idea from Pelephone (they charge a lot more for the phone) and the Vaad Harabanim went along, why, I don't understand.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Fascinating insight into the Charedi view of various professions from children's books

We bought my 4 year old son a set of books (in Hebrew) written for the Charedi public in Israel. The books teach safety rules through stories about a little boy called Eli.

It was very interesting to see how the various professionals were portrayed. When Eli got hurt and had to go to the hospital, the paramedic and the doctor were both Charedi (big black Yarmulka and beard). When he had cavities and went to the dentist the dentist was likewise portrayed as Charedi. However, when he went to the zoo, both the zookeepers and the head of the zoo were portrayed as Chilonim as was a house painter and a firemen. Of course, they were all men.

It is fascinating that even though the current hashkafa is torah only certain professions are still portrayed as Charedi. You also get a clear picture of how the Charedi world looks upon the various professions. Even though no Israeli Charedi can become a doctor or dentist (as University is absolutely forbidden), they are still portrayed as Charedi as if to say, if you do work these are worthwhile professions. On the other hand, for professions such as zookeepers, firemen, painters the clear implication is that these are not professions that are worthwhile.