Avi Greengart is the Research Director for Consumer Devices at Current Analysis (Mobile Phones, Connected Devices, and Digital Home). He also regularly writes for Slashgear, sporadically blogs at Home Theater View and Tweets far too often as @greengartAvi's expertise lies in understanding consumer electronics marketing, consumer behavior, and technology adoption patterns: where new technologies meet the mass market. 

CookiePhone User Guide
Why Cellphones on Purim


The Jewish holiday of Purim celebrates the fact that Jews were not exterminated in Persia in the period between the first two Temples, through several roundabout miracles. For Jews, not getting exterminated is cause for massive celebration, and there are four mitzvot (commandments) for the day:

bulletReading the megillah (a long scroll that contains the Purim story)
bulletGiving charity to the poor
bulletEating a big feast (most Jewish holidays involve a big feast; this one's no exception)
bulletGiving food to friends ("Shalach Manot," which loosely translated means, "giving stuff")

Now, among many Orthodox Jews, giving out dozens and dozens of themed Shalach Manot packages stuffed to the gills with junkfood has become popular. In fact, this has become so popular that our Rabbi gave an impassioned speech begging our community to minimize time and money spent on creating over-the-top Shalach Manot for dozens of people (two items of food to a single individual fulfills the actual commandment) and focus instead on giving charity to the poor, another, arguably more important, obligation of the day.

It's not that we ignored our Rabbi, it's just that we didn't hear the speech, and when I discovered that he had reprinted it online, sent it in an email, and published it in the synagogue bulletin, well, by then it was too late. So I present to you our:

Purim 2007: Cellphone Shalach Manot

The complete package included a cellphone (cookie), wall charger (raisins and licorice), SIM card (mint), and bubble wrap (meringues). We instructed those who planned to use their cellphone with CDMA carriers to pretend that the SIM card was a memory card instead. Our Shalach Manot came complete with a User Guide and a tongue-in-cheek explanation of why cellphones are a traditional Purim gift, which rewrites the Purim story and traditional commentaries ...just a bit.

A few recipients got smartphones:

And I couldn't resist making a single, prototype iCookie:

The challenge here was not detail (we'd never win engadget's cake contest), but scale: we baked dozens and dozens of CookiePhones and sheets and sheets and sheets of "bubble wrap":

For more on the holiday of Purim, Wikipedia actually has a pretty good overview.

bulletThe Gadget Yarmulka (1.0) can be found here.
bulletAvi's Spotlight columns for Current Analysis can be found here.