Cite: Deutsch, Haredi Encounters with Technology


Deutsch, Nathaniel. "The Forbidden Fork, the Cell Phone Holocaust, and Other Haredi Encounters with Technology." Contemporary Jewry 29,1 (2009): 3-19.


Abstract:  Haredi Jews valorize tradition and explicitly reject the idea of progress on ideological grounds. Concomitantly, they are opposed to many innovations and are highly critical of the destructive potential of modern communication technologies such as cell phones with Internet capability that serve as pocket-sized portals between their insular communities and the wider world. In response to this perceived threat, Haredi authorities have issued bans on the use of certain technologies and have endorsed the development of acceptable alternatives, such as the so-called kosher cell phone. And yet, many Haredim, both in the United States and Israel, are highly sophisticated users and purveyors of these same technologies. This tension indicates that Haredim have a much more complicated relationship to technology and to modernity, itself, than their “official” stance would suggest.




Keywords:  Haredim – Ultra-Orthodox Jews – Hasidim – Internet – Cell phone – Technology – Israel – Holocaust – Modernity, Ultra-Orthodox / Haredi, Israel: Religion, Religious-Secular Divide

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