Are your kids struggling with their Haftorah or Torah portion? Well, technology has come to their rescue and yours in the form of the Magic Yad. This new software application is used along with Lifescribe’s Smartpen. The pen works like an electronic torah pointer or yad. It enables students to touch any phrase or verse on their Yad text (any Haftorah or Torah portion) and they will hear the selected section chanted correctly by a professional cantor. They can also record themselves chanting a selection and compare it with the teacher’s version. Another exciting feature is that it allows them to slow down the audio to fine tune pronunciation.
A Torah Pointer or Yad is an important object in the Jewish religion as it allows people to point to words on the Torah scroll. These scrolls are so sacred that they are not supposed to be touched by human fingers as they might soil the parchment so a pointer is essential.
Alan Greenfield, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate who is a 30-year veteran of the technical industry conceived of the application. A volunteer with Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, Greenfield thought of the idea while helping a frustrated 12-year-old boy prepare for his Bar Mitzvah. “None of the old methods, cassette tapes or even MP3 files work this way,” he explained. The cost of the smart pen varies from store to store and the Magic Yad application is $99.00… cheaper than most tutors. Click here for more information on the Magic Yad.