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October 7, 2015 / 24 Tishri, 5776
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As the summer comes to a close and the new school year begins, we are faced with the traditional “shopping for school” phenomenon. As teachers and rebbeim send home their list of school supplies that need to be purchased, a Chumash or Navi is generally amongst the things that have to be acquired. What a lot of parents usually do, in addition to buying a regular Navi or Chumash which is to be used for school, is to buy an extra English Chumash or Navi for the house to be used for reference. After a couple of years, this can become quite costly. Judaica Press, in conjunction with Davka software, offers a great alternative to your traditional Chumash or Navi by giving you The Judaica Press Tanach on CD-ROM.

This program offers you many more capabilities than your average Navi or Chumash. The Judaica Press Tanach on CD-ROM comes with the Chumash (five books of Moses), Nevi’im (Prophets), and Kesuvim (Writings) in both Hebrew and English texts. Also included on the CD is the complete text of Rashi in both Hebrew and English. (Without Rashi, our understanding of Chumash, Navi and Kesuvim would be very limited and extremely difficult to understand). The translation is from the respected Judaica Press version, edited by Rabbi A. J. Rosenberg.

Some of the added features that I liked very much were the colorful maps and illustrations that were included in this program. These features really bring the texts alive. For instance, in Bereishis (Genesis) when we learn about the Me’arat Hamachpela (Tomb of the Patriarchs), the program will show an actual picture of it. This is great for young students who will have a visualization of these actual places; they will not just be another city, town, place, etc. in the child’s mind.

Another area where the maps come in handy is where in Nach it discusses the different portions the tribes are to receive when they conquer Eretz Yisrael. By using these maps, we can get a much clearer idea of where the boundaries are. Throughout Nach, there have been different time periods with many different kings and personalities. The program has timelines that simplify these time periods, i.e. from Adam to Noach and a listing of the kings of Judah and Yisrael, and how long and when they ruled.

The program comes with many options that will enhance your viewing capabilities. The auto save configuration makes using the program much easier. To differentiate between the texts, you can have a special one (text) for editing.

Want to see on paper what you are viewing? The program comes with a print option that will let you print one or multiple windows. Also, along with the print option, you can choose whether to display or print the nikud (vowelzation).

When using the program, you might want to look back on what you have studied and thanks to the saved history option, this can be done. You can view a couple of different windows; for example, in one window, you can view the Hebrew text of Bereishis while in another one you are viewing the English text and in a third viewing Rashi. You can link all of these to move further ahead, instead of moving each window individually.

For those who would like to view the interface completely in Hebrew, the program will not let you down – there is an option to do just that. The program also gives the user the ability to manipulate the fonts, by letting the user change the font and font size such as the text searched words titles, topic windows, Dibbur Hamatchil, and the reference. The user can also change the color of the foreground and backgrounds of many of the different windows that appear. This definitely will make life easier for those who have difficulty viewing the traditional black on white style.

A powerful search engine will help the user find words or verses that may be difficult to find. There is an alternative for the user who wishes to utilize a little bit more than the simple search option. The advance search function will allow you to expand your search capabilities, by using a variety of different search functions and methods.

This program will definitely be an investment not wasted. For under 100 dollars, you will get hundreds of dollars worth of seforim and a program that you and your children will benefit from for a very long time. The program runs on any PC that has Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP. A minimum of 32Mb of ROM is required along with a CD-ROM.

The software can be purchased online at www.davka.com and/or at your better local Jewish bookstore.

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