Orthodox Jews launch "kosher" search engine

JERUSALEM Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:45pm EDT

An employee types on a computer keyboard with both Latin and Cyrillic letters in Sofia June 23, 2008. Religiously devout Jews barred by rabbis from surfing the Internet may now ''Koogle'' it on a new ''kosher'' search engine, the site manager said on Sunday. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

An employee types on a computer keyboard with both Latin and Cyrillic letters in Sofia June 23, 2008. Religiously devout Jews barred by rabbis from surfing the Internet may now ''Koogle'' it on a new ''kosher'' search engine, the site manager said on Sunday.

Credit: Reuters/Stoyan Nenov

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Religiously devout Jews barred by rabbis from surfing the Internet may now "Koogle" it on a new "kosher" search engine, the site manager said on Sunday.

Yossi Altman said Koogle, a play on the names of a Jewish noodle pudding and the ubiquitous Google, appears to meet the standards of Orthodox rabbis, who restrict use of the Web to ensure followers avoid viewing sexually explicit material.

The site, at www.koogle.co.il, omits religiously objectionable material, such as most photographs of women which Orthodox rabbis view as immodest, Altman said.

Its links to Israeli news and shopping sites also filter out items most ultra-Orthodox Israelis are forbidden by rabbis to have in their homes, such a television sets.

"This is a kosher alternative for ultra-Orthodox Jews so that they may surf the Internet," Altman said by telephone.

The site was developed in part at the encouragement of rabbis who sought a solution to the needs of ultra-Orthodox Jews to browse the Web particularly for vital services, he said.

Nothing can be posted on the Jewish Sabbath, when religious law bans all types of work and business, Altman said. "If you try to buy something on the Sabbath, it gets stuck and won't let you."

(Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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