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EshDev – High Tech For Your Soul


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Eshdev, an innovative Jewish products company based in Jerusalem, is improving palm users spiritual lives. Incredibly, it is a one-man operation. Its creator, Elyahu Sheetrit, is an assistant to Chief Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef in publishing his sefarim (religious books) yet devotes himself to Eshdev in his free time.

The company’s initial product was Tehilim, which was a tremendous success. Although, there are other Tehilims available, EshDev’s Tehilim revolutionized the way it appears. The other Tehilims do not have nekudos (vowelization) while EshDev’s does, making a world of a difference for novice and expert alike. In addition to the vowelization of the Tehilim, Eshdev features a user-friendly view option for those who have a hard time looking at the screen. The bold feature makes it easier on the eyes by slightly increasing the size of the text and darkening it. There is also a feature that allows you to view the Tehilim by day or according to the chapter. This is very convenient for those who say the selected chapters corresponding to that day of the month.

Of all the applications and texts Sheetrit has put out so far, he feels that Esh Siddur is probably his best. There are four nussachim (versions based on custom and tradition) available – Ashkenaz, Sfard (Ashkenaz), Ari, and Sfard (Edot HaMizrach). The siddur comes with Shachris, Mussaf, Mincha, Marriv, Birkas Hamazon, Beracha Achrona, Kiddush Levanah, Tefilaas Haderech, and Krias Shema Al HaMittah. One of the Esh Siddur’s most impressive features is its ability to present what needs to be said on any particular day. For example, it automatically gives you the Shir Shel Yom (daily song) of that day. When it is Rosh Chodesh, it includes Hallel and Mussaf into the siddur.

The Esh Siddur also has a location selector, enabling you to adjust the siddur to either Eretz Yisroel or chutz la’aretz (outside of Israel) as certain teffilos (prayers) are unique to Eretz Yisroel, while others are said only in galus – (exile).

The Siddur also has a shaliach zibbur (designated cantor) option, meaning that all the appropriate teffilos said by the shaliach zibbur, such as Kaddish etc. are automatically inserted into the siddur. Also with the Esh Siddur (like the Esh Tehilim), you have the ability to adjust the size of the text.

Another EshDev offering is the Esh Reader, which eliminates the need of having a separate document reader in order to read the texts. Please note, however, that in order for the reader to work, you will need Penticon’s Hebrew. Texts such as Chumash with Rashi, Mishna with Rav Gemara with Rashi and Shulchan Aruch with Mishnah Berura all use the Esh Reader. All of these texts are split, for example, when accessing the Chumash with Rashi, the Chumash will be on top and the Rashi on the bottom and you have the ability to scroll in either one.

The Mishna with Rav is a great text that allows you to learn Mishna with the Perush Rav. This can come in very handy when you commit to learn Mishnayos. If you don’t have a set time to learn and need to utilize any spare moment you have, the Mishnayos will be available wherever and whenever (as long as you have your handheld with you).

When learning Daf Yomi, you are not always able to learn the whole daf  (page) at the Daf Yomi shiur and sometimes you fall behind or just maybe you want to review what you learned previously, but you don’t have a Gemara when on the go or at work. With Eshdev Gemara and Rashi, you will be able to catch up because the whole mesechta (tractate) will be in the palm of your hand.

For those who would like to review simple basic halachah, the Shulchan Aruch with Mishna Berura is a great product, and with it you have the standard convenient split screen and the ability to jump from siman to siman, se’if to se’if  (section to section, paragraph to paragraph) etc. In addition, you also have the ability to search for a specific word in the Shulchan Aruch or in the Mishnah Berura. This can be a great help when you are short for time and need to find exactly what you are looking for right away.

Eshdev also has a unique program called Esh Neshamah for those times when people visit the cemetery and need to say the correct pesukim (verses) from Tehilim Kapitul 119 that correspond to the deceased person’s name. Just type in the name and the word neshamah, and the Esh Neshamah will give you the correct verses.

The Esh Targum is a great product for those who wish to be maavir Sedra (review the weekly Parsha). The Targum has Chumash and Targum Onkelos with nekudot and Rashi without. The Targum gives you the option to view sedra in different ways. It lets you see the pasuk (sentence) with the Targum or the pasuk with the Rashi or everything all at once. You also have the option of jumping from parsha to parsha (weekly portion to weekly portion) and from perek to perek (chapter to chapter) and even pasuk to pasuk.

For those who like to learn Tanach and want a very convenient way of carrying the whole Nach with you, Esh Tanach is the solution. The whole Tanach has nikudos and the navigation feature gives you the ability to go from one sefer (book) to the next and from perek to perek. This is great for those who learn Gemara in depth and like to look up the full pasuk when the Gemara quotes one. The Esh Tanach will save you time by having the information right there for you.

The number of products and texts that have come out are astounding – and believe it or not the company is only about a year old! When EshDev was created, it started off as a kli avodah (a work tool) and an accompaniment to the commuter who would otherwise, be doing nothing productive while traveling. Instead of wasting his or her time, the person instead would have the ability to utilize those precious moments to study and learn, activities Elyahu is proud to have facilitated.

These products can be bought at http://www.eshdev.com. If you would like to sample before purchasing, you can download a sample with no expiration date. If you do decide to purchase, you will get a password that will enable you to view the full text. In the meantime, try out what’s available (as you can see there is plenty what to choose from) and if you like what you see or have comments, suggestions, ideas etc. please let Elyahu know (his e-mail is on the website).

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/scitech/electronics-today/eshdev-high-tech-for-your-soul/2004/11/10/

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