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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Apps bring religion into the 21st century

By Annysa Johnson




Religion is converging with the technology, and that's making it more accessible

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Most days after work, Diane Werle can be found hunkered down and reading her Bible, often at a neighborhood coffee shop.

A devout Christian, Werle covers at least a chapter a day. And she takes detailed notes, often flipping from book to book researching and double-checking passages.

There was a time when Werle carried her leather-bound and dog-eared Bible everywhere she went, scribbling in the margins as she read. These days she accesses the Word and makes her notes on her iPod Touch.

"It's nice to have a portable and easily accessible copy with you when you're out and about," said Werle, who attends the non-denominational New Day Church in Greendale, Wis. "You never know when you might get into a discussion with a friend about what it does or doesn't say, or run into someone who has questions."

Werle is among the millions who have turned to hand held technology to further their faith and spirituality. Software developers have obliged, creating hundreds of applications for smart phones and other mobile devices that do everything from translating ancient texts to alerting a user when it's time to pray.

Though data on religion-related apps is hard to come by, industry observers say it's a small but growing niche in what is projected to be a $25 billion industry by 2015, according to some estimates.

"Religion is starting to catch up with the technology, and that's making it more accessible," said Daniel Ionescu, a London-based writer for PCWorld Magazine.

For the uninitiated, apps are programs that users download free or for a fee to their iPhones, Android devices, BlackBerry phones and other handhelds.

Apple dominates the industry with more than 225,000 apps at its online App Store, followed by the Google-based Android Marketplace with more than 30,000, though other smaller competitors abound.

A TECHIE IN EVERY BELIEVER
People of faith are embracing the technology.

"I tell people I'm compensating for my 17th-century looks," said Rabbi Benzion Twerski of the Orthodox Congregation Beth Jehudah on Milwaukee's north side, who sports both an iPhone and iPad.

Rabbi Twerski has apps that let him read the Torah, the Talmud and the Siddur, the book of daily prayers; recite the appropriate blessings for meals depending on the food that's served; and vet the thousands of ingredients in his work inspecting Kosher food factories around the state.

"When I used paper … I could be sitting a long time. Now, it takes me just seconds to look for an ingredient," he said.

Donald Rappe, an associate professor in the Department of Theology at Mount Mary College, uses apps to help him translate ancient Biblical texts, bone up on his Hebrew and pull down scholarly lectures by colleagues in his field.

"It goes with me everywhere," said Daniel Johnson, president of Wisconsin Lutheran College, who uses his iPhone to access the Bible, daily devotions, Christian music and sermons. "There's not been a time in the history of man when it's been as convenient to focus on one's relationship with the Lord."

Little is known about religious app consumers. But if the Internet story is an indication, they're likely people who already lead strong religious lives, said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project.

"It takes awhile for any new technology to establish a presence and meaning with people who are less connected to religion — or sports or finance," said Rainie.

"We don't know yet how this might be transforming people's spiritual lives. But it's interesting to see that a lot of churches, and more broadly denominations, are hoping … new technologies will give them new pathways to younger seekers," he said.

REGULATING TECHNOLOGY'S ROLE
It has certainly changed the way many users experience their faith. It's not unusual, said Twerski and others, to see worshippers consult their hand-helds during services in synagogues and churches.

For Werle, who frequently does her Bible studying in coffee shops, it's made the experience more private. "When you're reading a full-size Bible, it's a little obvious, and I've had complete strangers walk up to me and start conversations," she said. "That doesn't happen now. You lose that opportunity to meet with people of the same faith background, or to talk about G0d with people who don't know and may be searching."

For some it has become too intrusive. "To be fair, my wife hates it," said Twerski . "She dislikes it to the point where I turn it off when I'm in her presence."

Like any new technology, the advent of the app has sparked discussion about the nature and boundaries of its uses. Some of that is centered on the industry itself, which operates on a dual model: a content gatekeeper system favored by Apple vs. the open format of the Android Marketplace.

The difference was highlighted last year when Apple rejected the Me So Holy app — which lets users superimpose their faces onto images of Jesus and other religious figures — as "objectionable." The app is now available on the Cydia Store, a kind of black market for people willing to "jailbreak," or alter, their Apple devices to download apps not available at the App Store.

"In the technology world, there's reason to be careful and to curate material the way Apple does," said Rainie of the Pew Internet project.

At the same time, open systems lead to the most innovation, he said. "And there are people who think Apple shouldn't be the spiritual cops on the beat."

Rappe, of Mount Mary, said users need to vet app content and police usage as they would any new technology and information resource.

"From an intellectual and spiritual point of view you have to use some discretion," said Rappe. "You have to decide is it something that is helpful in a meaningful way, or is it a distraction?"


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