The Rashi Reader

Learning Rashi script is a challenge that faces many Yeshiva students entering into the 3rd grade, who are presently familiar with the convensional Hebrew script. Rashi reader is a small but effective program which addresses this educational need specifically, in a multi-media format. Dor l Dor is one of the rising stars in Hebrew Software, and this program is a very good beginning for the fledgling company.

What you get

The program, available for PC's and Macs comes with 3 disks and very decent documentation. But the best documentation is the documentation that you will never need, and this program loads up and installs without any hitch, and no need to examine the book which comes with the program. The program comes with Hebrew fonts in True type format.


The program requires a 48633DX/33 or higher, which unfortunately is becoming the industries standard mimimum requirements. 8 megs of Ram is required, and 16 bit stereo sound card is recommended. The documentation mentions that the company has had success running this program on higher level 386 machines.


Installation requires running the SETUP.EXE from the titlebar in Windows 3.1. Windows 95, and MACS will self intall the program. The setup program ran without a hitch. But at this point in software technology, I am usually disappointed when the program doesn't come with an installation shield or an option to not overwrite windows system files that already exist. As anyone who uses windows extensively knows, keeping the systems files and the *.ini files clean is a fulltime and dicey job.


The program asks you if you want to create a program group. If so, it creates 2 icons, one for a readme file, and one for the program. On double clicking the icon for the program, a nice picture of an old Israeli city skyline displays and a little jingle is played. The program opens to the Alef Bais in standard Hebrew print.

On the lower part of the window, the choice is given to view the letters in Rashi or Standard print. A little hand is the mouse pointer, and as you go over the letters they change from Standard to Rashi. Or just click the "GO RASHI" button and all the letters come up Rashi.

Click on a letter, the letter is pronounced (Pey for example) and a new window replaces the old one with the letter and the vowels, in both Rashi and Standard Print. You can then listen to any combination of the letter and the vowel. There is an option to quiz yourself in this window. Quizzes pronounce a sound, and you have to identify the vowel that is related to the sound. The pronounciation is in standard Sephardi. I would have prefered to see it in Ashkenazi, especially in light of the fact that the Rashi is used in Chumash and Gemora.

The program gives wonderful encouragement and visual rewards for correct answers.

The program includes a Morph from standard text to Rashi which helps cement the relationship between the to texts. It's a lovely touch that reads for you the words to the Chumash Genesis 1.1 in both forms, so that the student sees the relationship between the styles, as they naturally present themselves.


This program is a nice package that fills a nitch which is as of yet not approached by interactive software. It's a wonderful start for anyone learning Chumash with Rashi.