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It was an Ipad Shabbat

This past Shabbat we had Ipad Shabbat!  I encouraged members to download the new iT’filah app from CCAR Press. (click here to download from itunes) This is an app for Ipad that contains the Shabbat evening Service from The Reform Movement Siddur, Mishkan T’filah.   I led services from my Ipad and several congregants brought theirs as well.  The rest of the congregation read out of our prayer-books.

I announced pages and page swipes!  The new app has the ability to hear certain prayers sung or read.  At one point in a pause before the Barchu.. one of the members humorously his the music… Okay so much for high church decorum.  But it signifies a great and wonderful new world.

Another temple member had surgery last week and was in the hospital for Shabbat.  This member downloaded the app and used Mishkan T’filah (iT’filah) in the hospital this past Friday evening.  It brought so much comfort to the patient and their family!   We live stream Shabbat evening services.  This app will enable those who watch to take a more active role in the worship experience.

During my sermon I explored the app with the congregation.  But the point of my sermon wasn’t really the app itself.  But the continued need for creativity of this sort in Jewish life.  That Reform Judaism was about exactly this utilization of contemporary modalities to enliven and enrich our ancient tradition.  Technology isn’t the end in its self-rather it is a means of opening up our connection and engagement with Judaism.  This is a good thing.

Again thank you to Rabbi Hara Person and Rabbi Dan Medwin of the CCAR PRES