When my grandson Ezekiel decides to go to bed and read, he takes his computer or iPad with him. Times have changed. I remember reading a book under the blankets with a flashlight.
Computers, iPads. Ipods and all manner of new gizmos have changed our lives. Now the Israeli Bible is online and appropriately it is found at www.theisraelbible.com. I love it.
In a review Israel 21c said: "The new mobile-friendly website stems from a print version of The Israel Bible published over the past two years by Israel365 and completed in October 2015. Its 20 softcover volumes include the entire 24-book canon (Tanakh, in Hebrew) along with original commentary developed by a team of 10 Israeli educators and tour guides."
Many of us have been closely linked with Israel and the Jewish people, and we delight in it being called 'The Land of the Bible.' It is also called 'the Holy Land' and anywhere I visit throughout Israel has a direct connection with the Bible and its many stories and events.
Browsing this new website is an eye-opening, enthralling adventure. The home page announces The Israel Bible 'honouring the God, the People, The Land of Israel.' It offers a study of the 24 books in the Tanakh. Sadly Christians call it The Old Testament and it is not old at all. Rather it offers new wisdom and incite with every study!
The site contains full biblical text in English and Hebrew. It provides Bible reading plans for personal study of the weekly Torah portions. (Jews refer to the first five books of the Bible as the Torah).
The online service includes maps, charts and related resources. Even free emails are offered for daily study.The commentaries offered enhance the deeper meaning of the Scriptures. They focus predictably on the significance of the Land of Israel and the People. A video teaching series is coming soon.
Standing with Israel
"The Israel Bible is the world's first Bible to highlight the Land of Israel, the People of Israel and the unique relationship between them," the website introduction says.
They also say: "Never before has the Land of Israel been at the forefront of the world's attention as it is in our generation. Efforts to vilify the Jewish State seem to expand every day across the globe, as does the growing movement of Biblical Zionists who stand with the nation of Israel as an expression of their commitment to God's word. As we seek to understand the clash of these two worldviews and look to make sense of the modern world's obsession with Israel, the need for The Israel Bible has never been more important as it is today."
The website is operated by Teach for Israel, a US based non-profit organization formed in 2011 by Rabbi Naphtali "Tuly" Weisz, an orthodox rabbi, director of Israel365.
"It's our goal to find new ways to use modern technology to bring Israel and the Bible to life," he said. "There are many people who are passionate about Israel, Torah and technology and as surprising as it is in 2016, no one has yet built a website that combines these three passions."
An audio component allows readers to hear the Hebrew text. "While Jews take for granted the fact that the Torah is meant to be heard in Hebrew, for our non-Jewish readers it's a real treat to be able to listen to the Bible in its original language," Weisz said.
TheIsraelBible.com is based on an open-source model, so users can contribute videos, interactive maps and other available or original content relevant to a particular verse.
"Together we can crowd-source the single largest collection of easily accessible Israel-related biblical commentary on earth," said Weisz. Thankfully that goal has been achieved and you may reap the rewards at www.theisraelbible.com.
Ron Ross is a Middle East consultant for United Christian Broadcasters (Vision FM). Previously he was radio news editor for Bridges for Peace in Jerusalem, Israel.
His career started at WINTV (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ron Ross' previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/ron-ross.html