Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Upping The Anti!

Vos Iz Neias reports on more anti-media bans and heimishe vandalism in "Orthodox Court: MP4’s are Banned, Its the Devil’s Device."

Speaking of media bans...

We recently referenced a Hamodia ad against cell phones in "Speaking of Hamodia..." Today's issue has another in what appears to be a series. This one features a photo of Rav Shmuel Kamenetzky. The top half of the ad is orange, and so doesn't come out clearly in the scan. So, no pic today.

Here's the text and the rest of the ad:

"A cell phone can put a person in a Makom Sakana with the push of a button. Getting a 'kosher phone' is Hatzalas Nefashos."

Two points:

1) Text messaging is not a threat to children's safety in either a physical or spiritual sense. A child being in contact with inappropriate people/influences, whether in person, on the phone, or via the net is. Parents need to be responsible for supervising their kids.

2) This is a business that is capitalizing on the fact that their model of phone is "approved" by the rabbonim because it doesn't allow text or internet. I've heard that this can be circumvented.

Not having seen the phones, I can't confirm this. But whether or not it's true, these ads raise some questions like: Is it appropriate for rabbonim to require one seller's product as obligatory?

Shouldn't they require competition to keep prices down as much as possible?

If there is in fact competition, why are they allowing these ads, with their endorsement of one company?

If it is in fact obligatory, shouldn't they set limits on the seller's allowable markup, just as halacha does in other cases?

Who are the people behind this and were they involved in organizing these ads, paying for them, etc.?