Archive for February, 2010

Introducing the iTalmud

iTalmudThroughout the “Tech World” many people waited with anticipation to hear Steve Jobs introduce an Apple iTaplet. While Steve Jobs has now formally made his announcement, people have been miffed as to why the iTablet was not the name for their new device! Instead, Apple is calling their new device the iPad. Indeed, there have been more than a handful of critics who have not been so kind to the name of this Tablet device that Apple will soon release.

Well, today I got to see not the iTablet, but the iTalmud for the very first time!

Allow me to explain…

During my years in Yeshiva, regardless of where I studied, be it in America or Israel, year in year out, it was necessary to have a bookbinder bind the Gemorah, the tractate of Talmud that the Yeshiva would be learning. Reason being, between learning various chapters and pouring over this Sefer, for sometimes 12 hours a day, the pages and the binding of this particular work would quickly become worn. Indeed, there is almost this silent code of understanding that if your Gemorah looks a bit “beaten,” it invariably means that you have been learning “shtark” and have been devoting much times to diligently mastering the topics in this tractate of Talmud throughout the night and day! And so, many Bachurim would not simply bind their Gemorah. Instead, many Bachurim take the opportunity to also have the binding of their Gemorah stand out and have a cool design. What’s more, while some people in contemporary society are proud of their tattoo or their shoes or what have you, for a Yeshiva Bachur, the way in which his Gemorah is binded is not only cool, but could also acts as a Siman, a sign that that this is HIS Gemorah!

You see, in large Yeshivas, where thousands of young men are pouring over the SAME text, it is quiet easy to loose your Gemorah, and never see it until several weeks later…let alone the end of the Zman (the equivalent of a Semester in the Yeshiva system). And so, in order to help differentiate your Gemorah, people would have the bookbinder etch with tape (or perhaps in different colors of tape!), on the side of the Gemorah, a neat design, your initials in Hebrew or English, and so on and so forth….

And so, when I stopped to Daven Mincha in a particular Jerusalem based Yeshiva and saw how this individual had added a creative Siman, a sign to help him quickly identify his Talmud, I took a quick picture and decided to share it with you all:-) I decided to dub this Talmud, the iTalmud. Apple and Steve Jobs has surely done a wonderful job of marketing if a Yeshiva Bachur in Jerusalem feels that it would be cool to brand his Talmud with their iconic logo!


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