Android has an open source system that allows for anyone to write apps and programs for their devices. My husband created this cool Kaddish tutor app for Android after his mother died. With his programming expertise, a field to play on, and a desire to help others who might find themselves in his situation, a Russian immigrant created a teaching tool for Jews everywhere. People all over the world have downloaded it. Access to information and the ability to connect to other people with similar needs and interests has created an open source world. While expertise is still valued, there is also the realization that each person has an expertise and experience to share. The gates to Jewish knowledge and practice are open in the same way. People can access information about Judaism without being a Talmud scholar. They can congregate and practice any way or place they choose. These facts should be embraced. Judaism is a democratic religion, “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Each of us has the ability and responsibility to carry out mitzvot. In today’s Jewish world, everyone is both learner and teacher.
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