Thursday, 06 Nov, 2008 Technology
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BlackBerries Replace the Prayer Books of Jews

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To be able to pray three times a day, thousands of Jews switched from the commonly used prayer book to BlackBerry. The reason is a new software program developed for the gadget, linking Hebrew prayers and high-tech. Using a BlackBerry as a source that offers text for daily prayers proved to be much more effective and comfortable than the traditional printed book.

The software had been dubbed "the JewBerry." Statistics show that over 10,000 people have already acquired the JewBerry, which has nothing in common with the Research in Motion, the developer of BlackBerry. The cost of the upgrade is $30.

The program was developed by two entrepreneurs who are former students of the New York's Yeshiva University. It is worth mentioning that Yeshiva University links academic learning with lessons of the Torah.

"Throughout the day, Jews gather in office-building stairwells and conference rooms to pray, and while sometimes you might not remember your prayer book, no one goes anywhere without their BlackBerry," mentioned the co-developer of the software program Jonathan Bennett.

However, Bennett considers that technology will never be able to completely replace the printed prayer book. He still likes the feeling of holding a prayer book when he has one with him, but he also mentioned that the JewBerry is a very useful thing, since whenever you need one it is always there.

Bennett said that the main idea of the project is to make something physically routine like the BlackBerry more spiritual.

The New York Post reports that with the help of the GPS technology, the program will soon allow Jews create minyans, which are groups consisting of ten members who gather for a prayer.

"Say you're in a place like Shea Stadium. You could post that you are looking for a minyan, pick a location, and other people signed up will be able to respond and meet up at the Carvel stand," said Jonathan Bennett.

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