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'Worse Than the Holocaust': Why Phone Numbers Frighten Israel's ultra-Orthodox Rabbis So Much

Ultra-Orthodox rabbis are in crisis mode over a looming change in regulations over mobile phone numbers, frantically trying to constrict their followers in an off-grid ghetto. They’re fighting a losing battle

Anshel Pfeffer
Anshel Pfeffer
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Anshel Pfeffer
Anshel Pfeffer

The meeting on Monday at the Communications Ministry in Jerusalem was unprecedented. A delegation of rabbis, Hassidic leaders, yeshiva deans, members of the Councils of Torah Sages of all three ultra-Orthodox parties, came to meet Minister Yoaz Hendel, at their request. 

In Israel, it’s been a longstanding custom that the Haredi community’s rabbinical leadership rarely meets with government ministers. That’s what their political representatives, the Haredi Knesset members, are for. On the rare occasion that prominent rabbis do meet with ministers, even prime ministers, it almost always the politician who asks for the meeting – in order to pay homage to the rabbi. 

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