Pacific Jewish Center | Rabbi

The Rabbi on the Beach @ The Shul on the Beach

Kosher Navigation

I love technology. My world is full of iPhones, digital cameras, blogs and Wii. There are a lot of people who adhere to a stricter Jewish lifestyle than mine. Their world is without these toys. The main objection to these tech toys is the access they provide to content that could be dangerous to a spiritual lifestyle. Therefore as a general rule there is a resistance to any device which has internet access. As we all know there is no limit to the dangers of the internet…

In Israel there is a strong market for products that have their web access disabled. These products are usually preceded by the word “Kosher” like Kosher Phones. The word kosher is commonly used in reference to foods that an observant Jew knows are fit for consumption in accordance with the Jewish dietary laws. I spoke about this in detail at a Connections a few weeks back. I recommend checking that out.

One of my earliest posts on the blog discussed the kosher vending machines popping up in the New York area. They are programmed to turn off on Shabbos to prevent any profits on Shabbos which adheres to the restriction of conducting business on Shabbos. I noted the proliferation of comments on the blog which I was linking to that discussed the ideas and philosophies of Shabbos. It was quite interesting to me that on a mainstream gadget blog there was so much discussion about Shabbos.

It happened again. There was a post today about the Kosher GPS. A GPS navigation system that restricts internet access and has a database of kosher restaurants as well as many prayers and Psalms in the device. Kudos to MIO for producing such a great product!

Granted the linked blog has a very tongue-in-cheek tone to its posting but the comments are where the action is. Millions of people who never thought about the dangers of technology can gain new perspective from the blog and its comments. Not to mention all the good PR for those of us who are observant Jews. No we are not Amish. Yes we love progress. We are just careful how we use our resources.

Technology can be destructive but I guess this product illustrates the other side of the coin. Technology can and should be used for the right reasons. Like any single thing in our world – it can be used for good and bad. We have learned a lot about this in our Mesillas Yesharim class. In the spirit of this post I will be blogging about the good uses of technology over the next few days so stay tuned.

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2 Responses

  1. […] is really what I blogged about last week . Technology has a great power to it that if used properly can change the […]

  2. […] comes back to the central idea that nothing is good or evil (similar to this post). Our world is full of tools. We choose how they are to be used. This gives them good or evil […]

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February 2009

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