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Monday, November 21, 2011, 10:16 am PT (01:16 pm ET)

UK's chief rabbi meant no criticism of Steve Jobs, uses iPad & iPhone daily

The chief rabbi of the United Kingdom has clarified his earlier comments about Apple and Steve Jobs, noting that while consumerism can be dangerous, products like the iPhone do offer true benefits.

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks gained attention for comments he made in the presence of the Queen of the Commonwealth realms in which he criticized companies like Apple for contributing to a consumer society. But the rabbi felt his comments were misinterpreted, and a spokesman for the Office of the Chief Rabbi reached out to AppleInsider on Monday to offer a clarification.

"The Chief Rabbi meant no criticism of either Steve Jobs personally or the contribution Apple has made to the development of technology in the 21st century," the office's official statement reads. "He admires both and indeed uses both an iPhone and an iPad on a daily basis. The Chief Rabbi was simply pointing out the potential dangers of consumerism when taken too far."

In his comments, Sacks compared Apple's iPad to a modern day version of Moses' stone tablets which carried the Ten Commandments. He used Apple's "i-product" naming scheme, with devices like the iPhone, iPod and iPad, to criticize "an individualist, egocentric culture."

But the rabbi's comments were intended to be a condemnation of the users of new technology and the individualism they are seen as exhibiting, rather than placing the blame on the products themselves.