Monday, July 2, 2012

There's an app for that!

Have you ever wanted to have a better understanding of what happens during services?  Do you ever wish you could follow along better, perhaps even sing along with blessings, prayers or songs?  Have you ever wanted to help your children feel more confident with their Hebrew reading but didn’t quite know how to do that?  If you said yes to any of these questions, then I have a potential solution for you. 

You actually may have already read about it online or in the papers, but a few months ago, The Central Conference of American Rabbis Press launched iT’filah.  iT’filah is a user friendly app for the iPad which enables the user to explore parts of the siddur or even pray in the comfort of your own home and at your leisure.  When it first came out this past December they unveiled the Erev Shabbat or Friday night service.  Since then, they have added the weekday morning service as well as Birkat Hamazon, the blessing after the meal and the CCAR Press is continuing to expand their library in the coming months.

If you already own an iPad, I would strongly encourage you to buy the iT’filah app.  Get to know the Shabbat service better.  Enlarge the font, click on the treble clefs on the top of certain pages and sing along with the embedded tracks.  Let your fingers wander through this e-siddur and allow these ancient words come alive in a new and contemporary way. 

Bring it with you to Shabbat services with the mute button on and let your kids take turns following along on the iPad.  I can tell you that at a recent rabbinic conference I experimented with praying with my iPad and at first it was a little challenging but I must admit I found myself engaged in a different way which was exciting.  What do you have to lose?

Once you try it, please let me know what you think!

Rabbi Michele Lenke


  1. I've got the app, too - I'm not sure I'm "brave" enough to bring my iPad to temple, but it's been a lot of fun exploring the different prayers, listening to songs, etc. I think it will be a huge help as we inch closer to the Bar Mitzvah year!

  2. I totally get that. Keep exploring and have fun with it.