back to article Chief Rabbi: I admire Jobs and Apple and use my iPad daily

Despite suggesting that Steve Jobs was a Moses of consumerism who had brought sadness to the world, Britain's Chief Rabbi uses an iPad every day and has no criticism at all to make of Apple's contribution to technology, said the Office of the Chief Rabbi. The statement emailled to the Reg was intended to clarify the religious …


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  1. simon gardener

    Holy Backtracking Batman

    reminds me of two things

    1) every cartoon when the character runs off the cliff and realises theres no ground underneath him anymore and tries to screech to a halt before plummeting into the abyss


    2) that delicious time when the archbishop of canterbury in a disastrously failed attempt to look hip and down with the kids had his staff release a statement saying he could name all FOUR of the Spice Girls

    1. Efros
      Thumb Up

      Re Archbishop of Canterbury and the Spice Girls

      Would have been more down with the kids if he had said he had bedded them all, individually and then collectively!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow, I would have thought a Rabbi would have more pressing concerns than a poxy tablet. Only the feable big up ipad. Only weak would use it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Anti semitic

      You should not write such anti semitic stuff, you know. Just because he is a Jew does not mean you mean he can use an iPad. He is not dumb.

  3. Jeremy Chappell


    I rather think that society's ill somewhat predate the iPad, iPhone, iPod or even iMac. Perhaps the Rabbi should look instead on the positive aspects of Steve Jobs work, baking in accessibility features at system level perhaps? (For those who don't know, the iOS devices are excellently adapted for blind users as an example - though this probably seems a paradox given they are touchscreen devices!)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >"I admire Jobs and Apple and use my iPad daily" ...

    ... " Also, I am writing this entirely of my own free will and am not being held prisoner or threatened in any way. P.S. I have decided to go on a long holiday very far far away, so nobody should worry if they don't see me again for a long long time. "

  5. amanfromearth

    Hes' a right twat then

    So consumerism started in 2002 with the iPod?

    These god botherers aren't too bright these days. Bring back Malcolm Muggeridge

  6. Anonymous Coward


    So it /was/ a cheap stunt that went wrong. He obviously thought the whole tablet/stone tablet, i,i,i comedy thing was too good to pass up.

    Verily, he was smited by the fanboi's


  7. Winkypop Silver badge

    Sorry about that

    Now, have I told you about my invisible friend?

  8. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Activities prohibited on Shabbat

    There are 39 classes of activities that are forbidden on the Shabbat (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset). There are different ideas about what is and is not a prohibited activity. For example, flicking a light switch can cause a spark, which is interpreted by some as lighting a fire. Turning a light on or off can count as igniting or extinguishing a fire (fire was used for lighting).

    Using a timed switch to avoid a prohibition is either acceptable or naughty depending on who you ask. Writing, erasing (preparing a surface for writing), applying the finishing touch and transferring between domains are also prohibited. (At first, "transferring" looks like carrying a physical object, but when you look at the definition of domains, publishing an article, photograph or being a commentard look suspicious to me.)

    I am sure computer use on the Shabbat was debated ad nauseam decades ago. Considering some of the activities that are definitely dodgy, I am surprised that iPads are allowed.

    1. Just Thinking

      But that's the will of God. It's not like it's just some sh*t somebody made up.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      General consensus would prohibit the use of iPad on Shabbat but rest of the week is fine, not really sure what the relevance is though...

  9. Nev

    I don't see why he felt the need to add the PS...

    Sounded like a pretty fair and reasonable viewpoint.

    Was he threatened?

  10. Hal Dace

    Really, people

    I am stunned at how vacuous many of the comments on this and the preceding article on the subject are. So Rabbi Sacks (who is highly respected as someone thoughtful and articulate) makes comments which are critical of consumer culture, using the hot consumer items du jour as examples.

    This is pretty standard fare from those (both religious and secular) who are concerned about whether people have the opportunity to be all they can be in life. It's also open to fair criticism from those who see consumer culture simply as a marker of the economic success of society. So, fair comment open to fair discussion.

    If the Reg comments are anything to go by though, this is a religioug comment on Apple corporation, and solicits -- nay, demands -- your opinions on:

    * Why iDevices suck,

    * Why iDevices are cool,

    * Why people who are visibly associated with religion can't be trusted (Um, do you actually even known anything, at all, about religion? Thought not.)

    * Why people who are non-religious can't be trusted (Um, do you actually know anything at all about secular philosophy and ethics? Thought not either).

    And sadly, vanishingly few comments have engaged with Rabbi Sacks' actual point - that we are being rendered shallow and vacuous by consumer culture.

    Or, wait, maybe the comments have been more articulate on that subject than I'd initially thought.

    How desperately sad...

    1. pear

      agree entirely

      some of the comments were just ridiculous, the fact that it spiralled in to a apple = good vs bad war proves his point to some extent. It was fairly obvious that it was just metaphorical and that Sacks is not actually blaming Steve Jobs for consumerism. It's a bit of an insult to his intelligence to think that he genuinely thinks that consumerism was created in 2002.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Apple's contribution to technology in the 21st Century"?


    Flipping heck, what like taking every mobile manufacturer's ideas, locking them up in shiny boxes and convincing the world and his dog to sign on the line to be told how mobile technology will free their minds while simultaneously taking away their choices?!

    Just before you flame away let me put on record that I own 2 iMacs and 3 Apple laptops, I just disliked Jobs attitude to the mobile market and I despise the iPhone ( and iPad ) for being locked-down. Apple desktops can, at least for the time being, still run any software you want unlike their portable gadgets.

    I'll stick with Android while on the go thanks Mr Rabbi sir.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chief rabbi reversing...

    If he backs up any more quickly he'll need to be fitted with a reversing signal.

  13. Law

    Dumb, yes, but he's just cashing in on the current trend...

    All you do is drop big J's name into any speech/article (negative or positive), and it's bound to get a reaction...

    1. Just Thinking

      Does Rabbi Sacks believe in Jesus?

      Oh hang on, you mean the *other* big J.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    Certainly not moi.

  15. James Gosling

    That Steve Jobs...

    He's not the son of God, he's a very naughty boy!

  16. pctechxp

    You cant escape

    The wrath of the mighty Apple.

    He probably got a call or message (via iMessage of course) shortly after the original story was published demanding he retract his comments or suffer the plague of a thousand law suits.

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. deadlockvictim

    For the sake of balance

    Could we have the Chief Evangelist from Apple come out and blast the Jewish religion please? Religions are easy targets these days, so it shouldn't be too hard to find something. For the sake of balance.

    p.s. I would've thought that a comparison with Moses bringing down the 10 Commandments would have a been a compliment doming from a Chief Rabbi.

  19. CheesyTheClown

    Chief Rabbi?

    This story will sum much up... it's not directly about religion, but very much about the jewish community.

    I was sitting in a cafe one day in Oslo, Norway. This cafe is walking distance from the Jewish temple and after the morning weekday services, the Jews who attend (typically orthodox as no one else would bend their weekday schedules for temple) often visit this cafe. Seeing that the cafe sells chicken and cheese as well as pork chorizo sandwiches on the same dishes which are used for saucers for the coffee cups, I'll assume the coffee is not kosher.

    There were three gentlemen sitting at the cafe drinking their coffee, wearing their yamukas and conversing in Yiddish under the assumption that there couldn't possibly be anyone nearby who would understand them. While they were together, they were talking so poorly of the labobature members of the synagogue that the terms used would be tasteless to translate. Thankfully, I have heard some of those members talk about the others as well and the term they used were somewhat comparable.

    When one gentleman got up to go to the bathroom, the other two started slamming the one who wasn't present and who was one of their obviously close friends only moments earlier. When he returned, another got up and went out for a cigarette and he became the new target of disgust. When the last got up and left to go to work, the remaining two laid into him for a solid 5 minutes.

    Let me point out that Oslo has barely enough observing jews to fill the one temple on important holidays. There is a requirement that there must be at least 10 males at a service for it to happen otherwise, it doesn't count. In addition, there must be one member of each of the 3 classes, the Israelite, the levis and the cohans... the Israelite being the normal every day shmucks, the levis and cohans being the descendants of the leaders of the empire of Jerusalem. This temple has an odd luxury problem as they are excited at any opportunity to gain an Israelite member because all the members of the temple somehow stem from only the rich and powerful leadership and they're seriously lacking for schmucks that are too modest to upgrade themselves when no one is looking.

    With such strict requirements to be able to pray... and praying being as critical as it is, you'd imagine these people would make a greater effort to get along and unite as one. But no... there are orthodox, conservative, reformed, hasidim, labobature and who knows what other levels of jews that pretty much all look at the others as idiots.

    So... I'm forced to wonder, what is it that justifies this guy being the chief rabbi? Who chooses that? I mean, I was forced into temple after temple throughout my youth and if there's one thing I am sure of, the only thing that unites the jews is an overwhelming belief that everyone is out to get them. Who chooses this guy on behalf of the jews in England... they have even bigger problems... they have german speaking jews and yiddish speaking jews. They have english speaking jews and all those different sects see the others as less than themselves. The conservatives would never want a labobature rabbi as their chief as that would be a disaster. The labobature don't even consider a plain old orthodox rabbi to even be jewish. The conservative don't even give a crap since they wouldn't get a say in the matter anyway. The orthodox have such a superiority thing going that everyone else be damned, they'll do their own thing.

    What do you expect from a bunch of people who still run their lives based on the rules given to a bunch of uneducated, idiot brick layers to keep them alive 3800 years ago... even now, the greatest reason they have for praying in a language which none of them understand is that they want to make sure they pray in precisely the right words... and yet, we can be 100% certain that the language they're praying in didn't even exist until a 1000 years after the first copy was written and the alphabet didn't even exist in the used form for another 1000 years and the oldest copy in existence to use as a reference is a partial copy from around 900AD. So they'll blindly pray to a god in a language that no one understands, without having a clue what they're praying about and that's apparently good enough for them.

    Really... we take these people seriously?

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