On an app and a prayer
“We are giving people a weapon of mass construction,” says Rabbi David Masinter, the director of Chabad Johannesburg. “People who download the app have access to a portable, secret weapon that can now be fired anywhere in the world. Wherever you may be, you can download an arsenal of weapons which fire positivity in an instant.”
This app is yet another step in the tehillim campaign launched by Chabad South Africa last year, which is aimed at giving access to psalms to as many Jews in the country as possible.
From school pupils to senior citizens, Masinter and his five-strong team have taken the country by storm, spreading positivity and promoting the pure power of tehillim.
“Everybody wants a solution to daily problems,” says Masinter. “The Torah tells us they can be found in tehillim. We want its solutions to be accessible at all times, which is why we’ve brought out an app.
“Wherever you are, you have a user-friendly, accessible application that puts tehillim at your fingertips. We all have an amazing instrument in the palm of our hand that goes with us almost everywhere, so it makes sense that it be utilised. We want to use as much modern technology as possible to reach as many people as possible.”
The app is a state-of-the-art concept, offering a user-friendly interface, adjustable layout, English and Hebrew versions of the text, as well as insights into the nature of the psalm being read. Although the entire book of tehillim is accessible, the app features shortcuts to particular psalms for different occasions, from recovery from illness to a simple lifting of the spirits.
“We didn’t intend to create an app at first,” says Masinter. “We realised along the way that we weren’t thinking modern enough, we weren’t thinking outside the box.” So, 10 months ago, they brought in Israel-based developer Avraham Makovetsky to help. “We gave Avraham a clear design that replicated our book.
“We have two aims in mind. The first is to ensure that every Jewish home has a copy of tehillim. Over and above that, we want people to actually say tehillim. The app enables people to recite tehillim no matter where they are or what issue they need to address.
The free app is available on both Google Play and iStore.