Updating the Three Pillars of Judaism as Tech Skyscrapers

By: Rifki Orzech 


“The world exists because of three things: Torah, Avoda, and Gmilut Chassadim” (Avot 1:2) 

As the world changes around us, the way we relate to our lives does as well. While there may have been pushback at the beginning, most of the world today has embraced the IoT (Internet of Things) – even using tech tools to enhance the things that are meaningful to them, including some of the pillars of Judaism. 

In fact, the first two categories evolve for our 21st Century reality in many effective ways. Ways that go beyond the Shabbat Lamp and the self-cleaning oven which certainly bring home, “Ivdu et Hashem B’simcha”. 

Torah: Torah learning has probably never been so dynamic and more importantly, accessible. You can carry a hefty Gemara effortlessly when it’s on your tablet and even enhance your experience with features like the ability to highlight sections and listen to a mini-shiur. Teachers use Sefaria, a slick source website, to piece together source sheets. You can listen to Daf Yomi on your daily commute; and your kids can download quality apps from Jewish Interactive.  

Avoda: There are apps that have revolutionized prayer. Depending on the developer your siddur app can find mizrach, provide location-based zmanim, the nearest shul, automatically include Hebrew-calendar based additions, and will silence your phone during tefillah.  

What about gemilut chasadim? Sure, WhatsApp groups are great for coordinating worthy projects, and meal registry websites have made organizing chesed meals rosters a breeze; but we’re years away from your i-robot rolling over to a post-partum neighbor to offer some help. When it comes to this category, you need to turn up and flex your chesed muscles. After all, soup kitchens need manpower. 

Gemilut chasadim, however also encompasses tzedakah; a tradition that is in our DNA. Living in a society that is increasingly cashless, how does one face collectors at the door? More often than not, you spread your arms and say, I don’t have cash right now. 

This is where TzedakaApp makes its grand entrance. This app takes the longstanding tradition of providing for people who extend their hand in need and renews it in the spirit of today’s reality. Aside from the TzedakaApp making it easier than ever to give to those in need, it provides users the maximum benefit of their donations. With a click of a button all donations are recorded—users can track contributions in order to keep up with maser, budget, and receive a tax-deductible receipt at the end of each month. 

The app also offers security, as all collectors are vetted and receive a collection code, the app confirms the collector’s legal name, ID number, address, and phone number. To top it all off users are protected with maximum online account security.  

TzedakaApp is available for Android and is in development for iOS. For more information, visit www.tzedaka-app.com.