The Bible, the best-selling book in history, is making its transition into the 21st century. An online project which intends to produce the first grassroots Internet Bible, "Tanach b'Mirshetet" (The Bible Online), has uploaded the entire Tanach online, with each of its 23,127 verses awaiting an "owner."
Each person that participates chooses a verse on the site and may dedicate it, or indicate why they chose it. The final objective is to get 23,127 people to select one verse each, thus having a complete Tanach "transcribed" on the internet by the Israeli public.
Thousands of verses have already been chosen, and thousands more which can be selected and personalized. Upon completing registration, each participant receives a certificate attesting to his participation.
Project coordinator Raphael Harkham told Tazpit News Agency that the aim of the project was to highlight the Bible's unique value, not only to the Jewish people, but as a platform for dialogue.
"It's a project to unite Israelis from all different sectors, while strengthening the connection between the nation and the Book. It is a great platform for Tanach conversation and a great tool for Tanach study.
"We are also working to get Israeli youths involved. I feel this project is especially important for them because they represent Israel's
The site currently exists in Hebrew, and four other versions are slated to be launched – English, French, Spanish, and Russian.
The launch of the Hebrew website in April 2011 is part of a global project run by the Bible Valley, a non-profit organization, in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry and the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry, in which hundreds of thousands of people from around the world, of all faiths, are copying the Bible in their own handwriting, in 100 languages.
This project was preceded by the Bible Valley's inaugural project, "Children of the World Illustrated the Bible," in which hundreds of thousands of paintings were sent from 91 countries.
After all the verses of the Tanach have been selected, the book will be printed, and – along with the 100 Bibles in 100 languages – will be placed in the planned Heichal Hatanach (The Hall of the Bible) to be built at the City of David in Jerusalem.
At the launch of the website, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
and his cabinet were the first to choose their verses. Netanyahu chose the first verse: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4).
Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon chose "A Song of Ascents. I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: from whence shall my help come?" (Psalms 121:1).
Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he chose his verse because this was the vision of the prophets of Israel for the entire world: "While the Tanach has a universal aspect, it is, first of all, the Jewish People's book of books. The Tanach conquers with its ideals, faith and unique character. No other book can compare to it.
"We hope that one day peace will prevail among all nations, and nation will not lift up sword against nation."
To select a verse, visit: www.mybible.org.il
Reprinted with permission from Tazpit News Agency