As part of its ongoing campaign to promote and facilitate increased awareness, access and consistent recital of the “Shema” among Jews the world over, Chabad of the Conejo has launched a new “Shema Yisroel App” for the iphone and Android operating systems, which is now available to users as a free download by searching under “Shema Yisroel.”
In addition to an audible “say-along” feature and multilingual transliterations of the first verse of the Shema, and a display of all three chapters of the Shema in their original Hebrew text, the Shema Yisroel App informs and reminds users of the proper times for reciting both the morning and evening Shema in his or her specific location. These features allow users to select how much in advance of the prescribed morning time,and how long after the prescribed evening time, they would like the system to sound notification alerts in the form of soft beeps. It also provides the Shabbat Candle-lighting times for the given geographical area.
“Although the Shema is technically a ‘prayer,’ it is much more than that,” says Rabbi Moshe Bryski, Executive Director of Chabad of the Conejo. “It is essentially a Jewish ‘pledge of allegiance’ to the one and only Master of the Universe and a powerful expression of the inner flame of G-dliness that is at the core of every Jewish soul… Recited both day and night; at home or on the road; at leisure or at work; when thanking, praising, beseeching or even questioning the Almighty; when life is full of hope and promise or, G-d forbid, nearing its end; the Shema has always served as the ultimate and quintessential manifestation of one’s essential faith and Jewishness…
“Reciting it at the appropriate times on a daily basis thus keeps one in touch with one’s inherent and unshakable truth, no matter what issues or challenges one may be faced with on a given day. If nothing else, it provides an empowering, invigorating and elevating source of perspective on what it’s really all about.”
It is in recognition of both the practical and transcendental benefits of reciting the Shema that Chabad of the Conejo, as per the vision and initiative of local entrepreneur and philanthropist Glenn Broder, launched the Shema Yisroel Project, which utilizes various forms of colorful media and marketing paraphernalia to inspire Jews from all walks of life to “Recite it… Ignite it!”
“A while back, my friend, Glenn Broder, who is a very focused and driven man, especially when it comes to things he feels deeply and passionately about – such as feeding the hungry and helping the downtrodden – approached us with his newest idea of disseminating the words and message of the Shema on a scale never tried before,” said Rabbi Yisroel Levine, Director of Development of Chabad of the Conejo.
“His vision was for the power and potential of the Shema to be conveyed to the masses, not in a preachy way, but in a creative, positive and appealing way, so that everyone – regardless of affiliation or level of observance – could absorb it and tap into it… My sense is that the marketing efforts relating to this project – including the production of thousands of brochures, wallet cards and refrigerator magnets, and now, the launching of this new Shema Yisroel App – which have been implemented thus far thanks to Glenn’s sponsorship, is only the tip of the iceberg of what is yet to come”.