Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has clarified remarks he made about Steve Jobs, saying they were not meant as a personal attack on the late Apple founder.
The comments, made at a 70th anniversary dinner for the Council and Christians and Jews last week, were reported online in the Telegraph in a story headed “Chief Rabbi blames Apple for helping create selfish society”.
Lord Sacks was quoted as saying: “The consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs coming down the mountain with two tablets, iPad one and iPad two, and the result is that we now have a culture of iPod, iPhone, iTune - i, i, i.
“When you’re an individualist, egocentric culture and you only care about ‘i’, you don’t do terribly well.”
A spokesman for the Chief Rabbi’s Office told the JC: “Of course, it was not meant as an attack on Steve Jobs personally or the contribution Apple has made to the development of technology in the 21st century.
“The Chief Rabbi admired Steve Jobs immensely and indeed uses Apple’s iPhone and an iPad on a daily basis. Only earlier on this year, the Office of the Chief Rabbi released its own iPhone app because he recognises the value of this technology.”
The comments were made as part of a wider speech where the Chief Rabbi was “pointing out the potential dangers of consumerism when taken too far. The use of Apple was merely one of the mechanisms used to demonstrate this wider point. That being, the use of the letter ‘i’ demonstrates one way of looking at society through the eyes of the individual as opposed to a whole and the dangerous consequences this could have.”