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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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Tablets – old and new

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Tablets, of course, are not new to the Jewish People. Sacred ones, too. Here’s how to load up your own tablet (or iPhone) with some holy apps so you can learn some Torah on the go.

Pocket Torah – free (also available for Android)

This is one very slick program – and even more impressive since it is free! Every parashah in the Torah is divided by aliyot along with the corresponding haftorah. Tap any verse and you will hear it chanted while the corresponding words are highlighted on the screen. Once you are familiar with the content, swipe the screen to have the verses appear as they do in a Torah scroll, without vowels and musical notation. You can even adjust the font size and choose whether to display Hebrew only or Hebrew and English. Nine men and women share the duties of chanting from the Torah. [http://bit.ly/torapp3]

Tanach Bible for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad ($1.99)

Hebrew and English text of Tanach are presented in parallel columns, Rashi and Hebrew text of Torah in parallel columns. There’s also Hebrew search of text as well as the ability to bookmark and email verses. Inexpensive and full-featured, this app is highly recommended. [http://bit.ly/torapp6]

Tanach for All (iPad edition) ($2.99)

Wow! Extremely customizable and suitable for beginners to advanced users. You can choose Hebrew only, Hebrew/English or Hebrew/Onkelos. And if you click on a verse, it automatically displays relevant commentary from Rashi, Ramban (Hebrew only). My only complaint is that the documentation isn’t great. Consult the website to understand its many other features. [http://bit.ly/torapp4]

iParashah ($4.99)

Displays both the parashah and the Haftorah in Hebrew/English along with short English overviews of both. [http://bit.ly/torapp5]

RustyBrick is a leading producer of Jewish apps, and has several Torah-related ones worth your attention. Its website provides a video for each product so you can get a good idea before you buy:

Torah On Your iPad ($7.99) simulates the appearance of the 248 columns of a Torah. One clever extra: tap on a word and the screen will display a virtual “yad,” the silver pointer used by readers from the Torah. [http://bit.ly/torapp7]

Tanach: Torah, Nevi’im & Ketuvim for iPhone/iPod Touch ($14.99) includes the entire text of the Torah, Prophets and Writings in Hebrew with trope. Has a search function. Verses can be bookmarked and emailed. [http://bit.ly/torapp8]

Tikun Korim iPhone/iPad App

At $19.99, this may be not as cheap as the others, but you can certainly see the attention to detail and multiple features. You get side-by-side depiction of Torah columns with and without vowels and notes, as well as the ability to print. You can record yourself as you practise and play it back to check how you did. Or email the audio to your bar mitzvah teacher for a second opinion! [http://bit.ly/torapp9]

Torah Lectures (free)

Now that you have read the pararshah, you can listen to a lecture or a few hundred wherever you are. This app connects you to audio lessons on hundreds of topics presented by Rabbi Shimon Schwab tz”l, Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis and many others. (Requires a data or Wi-Fi connection) [http://bit.ly/torapp10]

highway@rogers.com

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