web analytics
July 5, 2015 / 18 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


If You Launch It, They Will Come: ArtScroll On The iPad

A screenshot of ArtScroll's new iPad app.

A screenshot of ArtScroll's new iPad app.

For the Siyum HaShas in MetLife Stadium, community leaders, security officials, and even dogs (K-9 units) spent months getting ready for the close to 100,000 in attendance on Wednesday afternoon. However, members of ArtScroll have been focusing on what happens after the celebration. In honor of the 13th daf yomi cycle, ArtScroll has begun to launch its newest edition of the Babylonian Talmud – a digitized version for the iPad.

“The project began several months ago,” said Rabbi Nosson Scherman, general editor of ArtScroll Mesorah Publications. Although many developers at ArtScroll had dreamed about utilizing this platform for its tomes, the current technology could simply not support the magnitude of information and features they wanted to create. “As soon as [the technology] became available, we [hired a team] of skilled technicians” to begin designing the application, Rabbi Scherman said.

Before the advent of Talmudic apps, organizations, rabbis, and commuters had devised many ways to make the popular daf yomi study program more accessible to participants. Daf Yomi was started by Rabbi Meir Shapiro of Poland in 1923. Participants would study one page of Talmud every day, aspiring to complete the 2,711 pages over a period of seven-and-a-half years. Such a goal demands a large time commitment that many commuters do not have – except when they are on the train, bus, or car. To facilitate and enrich an aspiring learner’s experience, many people sold and distributed cassettes of recordings of daf yomi classes. Because cassette libraries of Talmud classes can contain close to 2,000 tapes, audio CDs were quick to replace them.

Utilizing MP3 technology and the popular iPod, the previous siyum hashas witnessed the launch of the “Shaspod,” an iPod prerecorded with classes on the entire Talmud and classes that could be downloaded from the Internet for free. However, none of these addressed the needs of the commuter who wished to study the actual text, but did not have room to carry a standard volume of Gemara, let alone a translated edition.

The new ArtScroll application for the iPad contains many unique features that capitalize on the technological advances but retain the familiarity and clarity of the traditional ArtScroll Gemara that has become the staple of many household libraries. The user can open the standard Hebrew folio (provided by Moznayim Publishers), the corresponding English translation and notes, or both displayed alongside each other. Additionally, studiers have the option of using a “floating translation.” By touching a phrase in the text, a “floating” box will appear near the highlighted portion containing the corresponding translation and notes taken from the English folios.

Ever since the Gemara was committed to writing 1,500 years ago, Talmud study has always been an interactive, analytical process. To further abet this process, developers created a search program and other features that allow users to cross-reference various texts and excerpts from other sources. Additionally, using “place tracking” technology, the application allows users to highlight words and phrases from the Talmud and automatically highlight the corresponding commentaries of Rashi and Tosafot as well. Moreover, studiers can create their own notes to write questions, answers, or important facts.

ArtScroll launched version 1.0 of its Talmud app in July on the Apple website, offering a free download of the first seven pages of Masechet Berachot. Offering a variety of downloading options, subscribers can choose to download a single page, a full volume, or a monthly subscription. Further updates will automatically download as the study cycle progresses.

To create the application, ArtScroll partnered with software developer company Rusty Brick. The company has already designed several other apps for Tanach, the siddur, Tehillim, and Rambam’s Mishneh Torah. Although many volumes of the Talmud are still in the developing process, Rabbi Scherman said ArtScroll would continue digitizing other classic works such as Talmud Yerushalmi, Midrash Rabba, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, and the Sefer HaChinuch. Additionally, ArtScroll plans to launch a similar Talmud edition for other devices like the iPhone and iPod Touch.

“We have a mandate from Rav Gifter that we must harness technology and use it to make Torah accessible to as many people as possible,” Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz, president and co-founder of ArtScroll Mesorah Publications, declared in an interview. Rabbi Zlotowitz estimated the cost of the entire project to be $5 million.

When proposing the concept of daf yomi at the First World Congress of Agudath Israel in Vienna, Rabbi Shapiro said, “What a great thing! A Jew travels by boat and takes Gemara Berachot under his arm. He travels for 15 days from Eretz Yisrael to America, and each day he learns the daf. When he arrives in America, he enters a beis midrash in New York and finds Jews learning the very same daf that he studied on that day, and he gladly joins them. Another Jew leaves the States and travels to Brazil or Japan, and he first goes to the beis midrash, where he finds everyone learning the same daf that he himself learned that day. Could there be greater unity of hearts than this?”

Almost 90 years later, people are still studying daf yomi in Poland, Israel, America, Brazil, and Japan. In a digital world, Jews can perpetuate and augment that unity using the new application from ArtScroll and continue Rabbi Shapiro’s dream.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “If You Launch It, They Will Come: ArtScroll On The iPad”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Future guard? Arab child with Hamas headband aims toy rifle on the Temple Mount after prayers in the Al Aqsa mosque.
CNN Promotes Old City on Verge of Extinction Due to ‘Political Tension’
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

Orlando was once a place where people came only to visit and vacation. Now it is home to a burgeoning Torah community, a place Jewish families can be proud to call home.

South-Florida-logo

The smuggler’s life has been changed forever. He is faced with a major criminal charge. He will probably be sent to prison.

South-Florida-logo

“Thanks to a local philanthropist who shares our core mission, we now are able to connect more Jewish teens to Israel than ever before,” said Todd Cohn, executive director of Southern NCSY.

In September 2013 he was appointed head rabbi of the IDF Central Command and is currently in charge of special projects for the IDF chief rabbinate.

Last month we outlined how a few years after Judah Touro’s death a public movement was inaugurated by the citizens of New Orleans to erect a monument to his memory, and that opposition to this tribute came from a number of rabbis throughout the country who claimed that Judaism forbade the erection of any graven […]

Marceau suggested a dark reason for his wordless art: “The people who came back from the [concentration] camps were never able to talk about it…. My name is Mangel. I am Jewish. Perhaps that, unconsciously, contributed towards my choice of silence.”

Anna Henriques, who hopes to one day head back to Jamaica, says, “Rabbi Raskin must be willing to respect what exists in Jamaica. The way to the future is to gently bring in the traditions of the past and at the same time embrace the idiosyncrasies of the Jamaican people.”

The Silver Platter has it all: gorgeous photography, oodles of useful tips and, more importantly, incredible recipes that you will find yourself making again and again.

It may be that seeking to connect with the past is rooted in the impermanence and impersonality of modern life.

It is very hard to build a healthy marriage when you do not have good role models.

My best book is one that hasn’t been published yet.

We tend to justify and idealize this division with pride attributing these tendencies as demonstrating a higher level of kedushah.

More Articles from Tzvi Aryeh Benoff
Jerome Schottenstein

With memories of the Siyum HaShas still fresh in people’s minds, many Jews around the world have been purchasing a Tractate Berachot in order to take part in the 13th cycle of Daf Yomi, the daily study of one daf of Talmud Bavli.

Shlomo Mostofsky

Just days before the entire world stands before the great Judge on Rosh Hashanah, Democrats of the 5th district of Brooklyn will be casting their votes in the primary election for civil court judge. Shlomo Mostofsky, private attorney and former president of the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI), is currently campaigning to secure the post as judge.

For the Siyum HaShas in MetLife Stadium, community leaders, security officials, and even dogs (K-9 units) spent months getting ready for the close to 100,000 in attendance on Wednesday afternoon. However, members of ArtScroll have been focusing on what happens after the celebration. In honor of the 13th daf yomi cycle, ArtScroll has begun to launch its newest edition of the Babylonian Talmud – a digitized version for the iPad.

The New York Times once asked Rabbi Moshe Feinstein how he became a posek hador, one of the generation’s foremost authorities on Jewish law. Rabbi Feinstein answered that, “people came and asked me questions and they liked what I said and it was accepted, and then more people came and eventually I became widely accepted as a posek.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/scitech/electronics-today/if-you-launch-it-they-will-come-artscroll-on-the-ipad/2012/08/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: