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The Chabad.org Blog

Have You Seen 'Mitzvah Studies'?

May 11, 2018

Dear Friend,

Behind each of the Divine commandments that define Jewish life stands a rich world of Torah insight, discussion and debate. This is the world of the Talmud and of the masters of Jewish learning—from the time of Moses until the present day—who probe the meaning of the mitzvahs and the manifold details of their practice and application. This is the theoretical world of the yeshivah, in which students delight in the nuanced flourishes of an elegant argument, and thrive on the drama of astute proofs and sharp rebuttals. This is the world that we invite you to enter.

“Mitzvah Studies” is an experimental project and we want to hear about your experience reading, thinking and engaging with these articles. If you enjoy them please share them with your friends, and let us know too! If you have questions or suggestions we would love to hear to hear from you! You can also subscribe to future articles via email.

Click here to see the first three articles in this exciting new series.

The Chabad.org Editorial Team

New Audio Recordings of the Book of Psalms

May 9, 2018

The book of Psalms (Tehillim)—composed by King David, whose yahrzeit we will observe on Shavuot—has been a voice to the Jewish people in good times and bad since the biblical era. That’s why Chabad.org is excited to announce new audio recordings of the entire book of Psalms in Hebrew and English!

Long one of the most requested items, the new series is set to open the power of Psalms to people of all backgrounds and abilities. Each chapter is chanted slowly and clearly, making it ideal for anyone wishing to read along. For the novice learning to read Hebrew, the experienced Psalm-sayer wishing to recite along with the audio on the road, and someone with impaired vision, these chapters—which can be enjoyed in Hebrew and in English—are easy to maneuver and ready for use.

Have a great Shavuot!

P.S.: We look forward to seeing you on Sunday morning, when the 10 Commandments will be read at your nearest Chabad center.

Jews Count Millionth Omer on App

May 4, 2018

The Chabad.org’s Omer Counter app just registered the millionth counting of the Omer as part of the “Omer Challenge.”

The “Omer Challenge” encourages Jews around the world to take part in Sefirat HaOmer—the mitzvah of counting up the days until the holiday of Shavuot, when we celebrate the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

Chabad.org’s “Omer Counter” app reminds users to count each evening and guides them through the mitzvah, along with offering a unique daily meditation and the ability to check off whether the Omer has been counted.

By using anonymized data, the app’s engine automatically keeps track of aggregated Omer counts and then updates the live counter accessible from the app, as well as on the “Omer Challenge” website.

Exactly 33 days into the challenge, the combined count passed 1,000,000 counts—each of which is a mitzvah, a Torah commandment—well before the holiday of Shavuot.

The Chabad.org family of apps is made possible by the generous partnership of Dovid and Malkie Smetana, Alan and Lori Zekelman, the Meromim Fund, and Moris and Lillian Tabacinic.

Download the Omer Counter app on Android and iOS.

Facebook Finally Lets You Say ‘Mazel Tov’

May 2, 2018 4:38 PM

It’s time to finally wish Facebook “mazel tov!”

Not on an announcement at their F8 developers' conference yesterday, but on something decidedly more celebratory: the words “mazel tov” themselves.

Keen Facebook users may have noticed that for the past year, certain keywords have activated a delightfully surprising animation. Sharing words like “congrats” and “rad” have caused streams of little balloons and thumbs-ups to fly across the screen. While the words “mazel tov” in the original Hebrew have long triggered an animation, those wishing to send their mazels in English have heretofore been left out.

Now, however, the English words trigger the same digital response. Though it’s not clear exactly when the change went into effect, the timing on the eve of Lag BaOmer couldn’t be better.

Lag Baomer, the 33rd day of the Omer count between Passover and Shavuot, commemorates the yahrzeit of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, author of the Zohar. On a yahrzeit, the soul is at its greatest strength, shining forth to those below as it is elevated ever higher. And mazel tov, represents the flow of blessings, goodness, and inspiration from above and below.

So why not take the chance to give someone a blessing and wish them “mazel tov”—now with an added Facebook animation?

This App Will Give You a Daily Boost of Inspiration

May 1, 2018

As soon as we launch our phones, we’re inundated by a torrent of texts, emails, missed calls, tweets and snaps. The smartphone may be a portal to the greater world, but it often brings exhaustion, enervation and stress.

Enter Chabad.org’s new “Daily Jewish Quote” app for Android, which allows users to add inspiration to their home screens. Each time the app loads, it pulls another quote, culled from the Torah, Talmud, Midrash, Chassidic masters and more.

The app allows users to swipe through to find additional inspirational quotes and seamlessly share them on their social network of choice.

The Chabad.org family of apps is made possible by the generous partnership of Dovid and Malkie Smetana, Alan and Lori Zekelman, the Meromim Fund, and Moris and Lillian Tabacinic.

Download the “Daily Jewish Quote” app today for Android at www.chabad.org/QuoteApp.

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