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Old 12-27-2010, 05:37 AM   #1
eric11210
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Orthodox Jewish texts coming to iPad

They make no mention of offering epub versions for the rest of us. And the Kindle doesn't get these either yet because the Kindle doesn't fully support Hebrew, but the Jerusalem Post is reporting that Artscroll/Mesorah, which publishes Orthodox Jewish books is starting to port their stuff to ereaders. Though not the sabbath and holidays prayer books because Orthodox Jews don't use electronic devices on the Sabbath.

What I found particularly odd though was Zlotowitz's assertion toward the end that he thinks ereaders are a passing fad. If he feels that way, then why the heck is he digitizing his entire library? Not to mention that his analogy has a tremendous flaw. He compares ebook readers to 8 track cassettes and says that's why he think the ereader may disappear. But the concept of listening to music with an electronic device didn't disappear. It just morphed to cassette tapes, then CDs and now to MP3s. I don't get why he'd feel this is even a remotely valid argument.

BTW, if you get an error when you lad the Jerusalem Post web site, just hit reload. I've had problems with them in the past. Their servers are often overwhelmed.

Eric

Last edited by eric11210; 12-27-2010 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:51 AM   #2
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It ain't easy being Jewish!!!!

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Old 12-27-2010, 08:20 AM   #3
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Oy vey! lol. I do like that he's digitizing the holy books for the digital generation. However, his statement is true when he compares ebooks to 8 tracks. Digital reading won't go away now that the mythical cat is out of the box. However, it will change a lot over the next ten years. In fact, I expect ebooks in their present form to die out in the next 5 years to be replaced by a whole new generation of digital books. What that will be still remains to be seen, but so long as the industry is young and maturing it will undergo some drastic, upheaval like changes for quite some time before it finally settles down into a more stable format.

Heck, look at the movie and music industries. They're over a hundred years old and have gone through several major upheaval periods, each followed by periods of static stability. It's the nature of the beast in every industry, and publishing is not exempt. So I think his idea that ebooks will be a "passing fad" is pretty close to the mark, although he's off in assuming that digital books will die out in favor of paper books again. The only thing that would encourage that would be a major digital apocalypse that rendered all digital devices useless (or heavily constrained their use) like CME's and the like.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:46 AM   #4
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Oy vey! lol. I do like that he's digitizing the holy books for the digital generation. However, his statement is true when he compares ebooks to 8 tracks. Digital reading won't go away now that the mythical cat is out of the box. However, it will change a lot over the next ten years. In fact, I expect ebooks in their present form to die out in the next 5 years to be replaced by a whole new generation of digital books. What that will be still remains to be seen, but so long as the industry is young and maturing it will undergo some drastic, upheaval like changes for quite some time before it finally settles down into a more stable format.

Heck, look at the movie and music industries. They're over a hundred years old and have gone through several major upheaval periods, each followed by periods of static stability. It's the nature of the beast in every industry, and publishing is not exempt. So I think his idea that ebooks will be a "passing fad" is pretty close to the mark, although he's off in assuming that digital books will die out in favor of paper books again. The only thing that would encourage that would be a major digital apocalypse that rendered all digital devices useless (or heavily constrained their use) like CME's and the like.
This was my point exactly. Obviously the current design will disappear. However, the idea that ebooks will disappear in favor of print books is ridiculous.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:27 AM   #5
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Aren't all religions unorthodox?
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:27 AM   #6
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After some research here is what I have found. The Jewish Publication Society (jewishpub.org), a company that a former rabbi of mine recommended as a creditable source for books offers a lot of books in ebook form, via Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). ADE covers a lot of the readers out there however not all of them, it is compatible with - in alphabetical order: Aluratek Libra Pro, Barns and Nobles Nook, Kobo and Sony. Notice that Amazon kindle is missing from the list and this is just the major readers that are mentioned here on these forums, I add the Aluratek to the list even though its not one of the major ones since I own one of those. I belive that Calibre will convert between formats so if you own a kindle there will be an extra step in there for you. I have bought from them in the past many years ago, I bought a Takanah and a Sidur from them, my Rabbi thought both were a tad on the Othodox side for a Reform congregation, but since then I have fallen in with a Conservative congregation where the rabbi would preferr a bit more of the book in hebrew but the text is ok. The siddur is a little old fashion for both congregations but as a general rule its ok.

Anyone care to mention some of the Jewish organizations you visit on the internet. I typically visit Aish.com and Jewishpub.org, my Rabbi use to tell me that Aish is a tad on the radical side for his tates but their ok.

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Old 12-27-2010, 04:01 PM   #7
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I think it's hilarious that turning a page in a book is allowed on the Sabbath, but pressing "next page" on a Kindle or Nook isn't. (I'm Jewish -- but not Orthodox.)
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:55 PM   #8
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I think it's hilarious that turning a page in a book is allowed on the Sabbath, but pressing "next page" on a Kindle or Nook isn't. (I'm Jewish -- but not Orthodox.)
First thing that came to my mind was that having orthodox Jewish texts on an ereader seems like the most useless thing ever because they would be unusable when most needed (presumably on the Sabbath ). Apropos of nothing, just noticed yesterday that my parents' oven (which we were trying to fix) had a "Sabbath mode" listed in its manual (yes, that's what they called it - I assumed it made all the electric features turn off).
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Old 12-28-2010, 03:20 AM   #9
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First thing that came to my mind was that having orthodox Jewish texts on an ereader seems like the most useless thing ever because they would be unusable when most needed (presumably on the Sabbath ). Apropos of nothing, just noticed yesterday that my parents' oven (which we were trying to fix) had a "Sabbath mode" listed in its manual (yes, that's what they called it - I assumed it made all the electric features turn off).
Actually, a Sabbath mode would probably keep it in a constant temperature regardless of whether you open the door or not (most ovens are controlled by a thermostat which would turn on the oven's heating elements when the door is opened since it detects that the inner temperature is dropped.).

Orthodox Jews will use an oven (well, some will -- this is hardly the place to get into a discussion of Orthodox Jewish law. I was raised Orthodox but gave it up so I know a great deal about it and it's more complicated than I'm explaining here, but again, not the right forum for a long discussion on this) on the Sabbath, but only if it has a Sabbath mode since it's forbidden for them to change the operating temperature in the oven on the Sabbath.

Similarly, in theory, an ereader might be permissible for them on the Sabbath if there was a mode where it changed pages automatically for you (though some stricter Orthodox Jews wouldn't use it because it provides a "perception" of doing something forbidden and because it involves handling something ordinarily forbidden on the sabbath -- again, not the place for a detailed discussion of Judaism and its intricacies).

And if this discussion is going to devolve into discussing religion rather than ebooks, it should probably get moved to the religion and politics forum. That was certainly not my intention when I started the thread though.
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Old 12-28-2010, 05:26 AM   #10
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I had friends who had two 'fridges (milchic and fleischick), and the same with

dishwashers and sinks, but would eat 'tref' outside the house.

Go figure!

Cheers
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:53 AM   #11
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And I was taken very good care of in a hospital that had equipped one of its six elevators with a Sabbath mode, so that it stopped at every floor going up and down. With 18 floors, I guess it took a while to make the round trip.
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:25 PM   #12
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I had friends who had two 'fridges (milchic and fleischick), and the same with

dishwashers and sinks, but would eat 'tref' outside the house.

Go figure!

Cheers
That reminds me of a co-worker, who wasn't kosher, but her husband was. They had a deal -- kosher in the house, and when they were off-the-property she was free to eat whatever she wanted (no "sneaking around" at all).

Getting back to the topic, I'd agree that e-readers are "electronics" for sabbath purposes.
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:30 PM   #13
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This is all pure sophistry. For goodness sake, why not be honest about it all? You're either allowed to use machinery or you aren't. If you aren't, then trying to get around the restriction with this ridiculous "double think" ("elevators are OK as long as you don't press the buttons?" Spare us!) makes me even more convinced than ever of the utter ludicrousness of it all.

Last edited by HarryT; 12-28-2010 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:57 AM   #14
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This is all pure sophistry. For goodness sake, why not be honest about it all?
Come now. What would be the fun in that?
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:44 AM   #15
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Harry, you would be taking away one of the greatest of pleasures for the Jewish commmunities - niggling and arguing about the finer points of law.

Crazy I know.........but so true!

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