The Raving Theist

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Dial-A-Jew

March 30, 2006 | 14 Comments

At the suggestion of an ultra-Orthodox rabbi, an Israeli company is offering “kosher” cellphone service. Under the plan, calls to outside, secular networks cost more than “kosher-to-kosher” calls between subscribers. Although not technically kosher (you can’t eat them) them, the phones bear special symbols indicating that that they have been “Approved by the Rabbinical Committee for Communications.” The company is planning to expand service to wherever Jewish communities may be found, and the founder says it’s only a matter of time before Brooklyn will have kosher service.

Is this much different from your ordinary “friends and family” calling plan? I think so. Although those services charge different rate for calls in and outside the network, anybody can join their networks. But for the kosher plan to mean anything, the Rabbinical Committee would have to screen potential subscribers for the appropriate level of Judaism.

So I wonder if it would even be legal in America. A phone company couldn’t get away with marketing a “Whites Only” phone plan. And although obviously private religious (and even ethnic) organizations can lawfully restrict their membership, a for-profit company selling phone time isn’t a synagogue.

Presumably the company won’t engage in official, overt discrimination, but will simply market it through orthodox channels and assume that no one outside the community would be interesting in joining. However, that seems like a risky proposition as well. If even one non-Jew got hold of a kosher phone, the whole system would be contaminated. Plus, if the Rabbinical Committee is not screening members, its certification might well constitute consumer fraud. I suppose one defense could be that the plan is already transparently fraudulent for permitting calls to secular networks at all. It’s sort of like a kosher deli selling ham and pork, and defending the practice on the ground that it charges more for the God-forbidden meat.

[Link courtesy of Andrea of Read Between the Lines]

Comments

14 Responses to “Dial-A-Jew”

  1. Random-Witticism
    March 30th, 2006 @ 9:16 am

    The Boy Scouts were taken to task over their (religious) membership policy… seems like this program has parallels

  2. The Schwa
    March 30th, 2006 @ 9:26 am

    I do not beleive you. I am going to eat one of those phones.

  3. Paul
    March 30th, 2006 @ 9:27 am

    Just when you thought religions couldn’t get any more silly…

  4. jahrta
    March 30th, 2006 @ 10:29 am

    Alright – I was raised as a jew and I have to say that this is one of the dumbest fucking things I think I’ve ever heard of.

  5. Mookie
    March 30th, 2006 @ 2:37 pm

    “We’re sorry, the recipient of the number you have dialed is not Jewish. If you would like to converse with this individual, please use another service.”

  6. Los Pepes
    March 30th, 2006 @ 2:49 pm

    I’m going to introduce my own phone, the shell of it will be made of 100% dried pork.

    It’ll leave grease on your palm.

  7. twyg
    March 30th, 2006 @ 3:30 pm

    that will make my calls to 900 numbers so much easier to “handle”

  8. Choobus
    March 30th, 2006 @ 8:47 pm

    but thibnk of the time it will save Jewish mothers. If their son starts dating a girl all she has to do is call her up on kosher network. If she can’t get through and has to use the shitza network then it’s game over.

  9. jahrta
    March 31st, 2006 @ 10:15 am

    Choob – it’s not shitza, it’s shiksa. was that intentional? :)

  10. Chris Treborn
    March 31st, 2006 @ 1:23 pm

    Jahrta, choobus is both ignorant and disgusting so it was likely his choice based on filth and not knowing the real word

  11. darwinfish
    March 31st, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

    jees chris, you’re really lacking in any sense or humour.
    I love choobus *hugs*

  12. Facehammer
    March 31st, 2006 @ 3:13 pm

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: christians have no sense of humour.

    Chris, you are so slow.

  13. Choobus
    March 31st, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

    Chris you irrelevant weasel, I have hurled more words at assclowns out of a taxi window than you will ever know. It seems you used up all your brain cells on your “clever” sobriquet. Or perhaps you stole it from the movie “the butterfly effect”. We’re on to you fool.

  14. Julian
    December 30th, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

    I googled dial a Jew to find a real number and this is what I get? Lol

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