Rabbi wants to make BlackBerry and Apple crumble

A Hasidic rebbe has called on his followers to burn their iPhones, BlackBerrys and any other "unkosher" devices they might have.

Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky, whose community is based in Jerusalem, said smart phones and computers with internet access were treife (unkosher) because they caused trouble in people's personal lives.

The rebbe said: "Many houses have been ruined because of this and many divorce cases are the result of this destruction."

He said that if members were caught with an illicit mobile phone, they would be cut off from the community.

His decree comes a month after an Israeli company unveiled what it claimed to be the first ever kosher phone.

The device includes instructions in Yiddish and a choice of Hasidic folk music for ringtones. If used on Shabbat, the normally reasonable calling rates increase to ten shekels (£1.75) per minute.

Last updated: 10:34am, May 31 2011