November 21, 2011, 11:17 AM — Maybe he was afraid his iPhone and iPad would be mysteriously disabled -- by either Apple or some other "power" -- or maybe he just felt his original words seemed too harsh.
Whatever the reason, Britain's chief rabbi, Lord Sacks, said (through his office) that he "meant no criticism of either Steve Jobs personally or the contribution Apple has made to the development of technology in the 21st century" in comments he made last week at an interfaith reception.
I'm not sure that's true. Here's what Sacks said, according to the Daily Mail:
"People are looking for values other than the values of a consumer society. The values of a consumer society really aren’t ones you can live by for terribly long.
"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."
The chief rabbi makes some excellent points about the shallow values of a consumer society and their inherent dangers.
But the statement from Sacks's office that he "meant no criticism" of Jobs or Apple is belied by his rather pointed criticism of Jobs and Apple. Is there some other way to interpret "the consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs"?
(By the way, the chief rabbi might want to check his product timeline. The iPad tablets came well after iTunes, the iPod and the iPhone.)
Also, the statement from his office says Sacks "admires (Jobs and Apple) and indeed uses an iPhone and an iPad on a daily basis."
He uses both on a daily basis? Is this the same guy who preaches that the "answer to the consumer society is the world of faith ... where you can't shop and you can't spend and you spend your time with things that matter, with family."
And, apparently, highly valued personal digital devices.