web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



How Apple Made Me A Better Jew


   Over the past few weeks, I’ve become an improved Jew. I learn more, say more brachos, bench more, and didn’t have a problem remembering the day in the Omer. I haven’t been to Israel recently, didn’t have a near death experience that reawakened my spiritual side, nor did I feel empty in my life and decided I needed to search for more meaning. So what caused this recent growth spurt in my Judaism? I got an iPod touch.

 

   After a year of poor customer service, software freezes, and complete memory erasures, I said goodbye to my Microsoft Zune. I swallowed my counter-culture pride, went to B&H, and bought the much-advertised Apple product.

 

   At the time of purchase I had no idea that both the iPod touch and iPhone were capable of doing so much more than playing music and movies. What makes these devices heads and shoulders superior to their principal competitors are the applications you can purchase or download for free.

 

   At the moment, my iPod has a complete dictionary, tells me the weather anywhere in the world, has a variety of games, updates me on my stocks, and has a NYC subway map. A little over a year ago Apple decided to let outside software engineers design applications for the iPod/iPhone. By doing so, Apple paved the way for the magnificent Jewish applications that have given my neshama a pleasant boost.

 

   My most frequently used “app” is the Siddur, created by RustyBrick, the Monsey based company that makes some of the best Jewish applications for the iPod. The frequently updated Siddur app costs $9.99 and is worth every penny. Not only does it include all standard blessing and weekday prayers, but it can also run on “smart mode.”

 

   On this setting, tachanun and Torah reading will be available on Monday and Thursday and hidden the rest of the week. Hallel will only appear on days it is said. Even more remarkable is that Maariv on Friday night, along with Shacharis and Mincha on Saturday are hidden, as to prevent someone from being mechallel Shabbos (even though they’d still have to turn the iPod on to open the Siddur, but still, it’s a nice touch).

 

   Not impressed yet? The Siddur application can also find your location via GPS and show you every minyan time in a 40-mile radius and how to get there! It also includes all the day’s zmanim wherever you are in the world. A recent update now shows a public list of cholim to daven for (one can download the Tehillim application for $1.99), and there’s also a handy luach.

 

   The $4.99 Kosher application, from RustyBrick in collaboration with Shamash.org, works similarly to the Siddur, in that it can find your location and show you all nearby kosher restaurants. There is also a regularly updated database showing every kosher eatery on the planet. Not sure about a kosher symbol? This app has over 100 in its database with contact information to the rabbi/organization giving the certification.

 

   While I personally haven’t used the Mikvah application ($7.99) I can only imagine its ability to find the nearest mikveh, and of course show you how to get there, is of great benefit for those in need of a purifying dip. The app also includes the book The Guidelines to Family Purity by Rabbi Yitzchak Jaeger, a schedule, check list, zmanim, and contact info for each mikveh in its database.

 

   RustyBrick also has many free Jewish applications, most popular of which is Shabbat Shalom. This app has been downloaded over 40,000 times and gives complete Shabbat zmanim for every city in the world. The free Omer application was a recent hit as well. It automatically updated your iPhone/iPod to the right day of the Omer, no matter where you were in the world.

 

   RustyBrick’s primary motivation is to help the Jewish community and, therefore, create applications based on requests and demand. So if you have an idea for a great Jewish app you can contact them at info@rustybrick.com.

 

   Chabad, via Jewishcontent.org, also provides dozens of noteworthy applications, almost all of which are free. They have a more basic version of the Siddur, loads of Chasidic seforim downloads such as Tanya and Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvos, and a wedding guide (according to Lubavitcher minhagim). The application I find most useful is Chumash & Rashi. Aside from being a complete Chumash it also has a built in calendar made for doing Shnayim Mikrah. If you open it on Sunday it will start at rishon, Monday will open to sheni, Tuesday shlishi and so on.

 

   I’m the type of person who enjoys gematria, and have been putting good use to Gp Imp.’s Gematria Calculator. The company also has a convenient Shabbat Alarm Clock, a Hebrew keyboard app, and a handy tzeddakah calculator/tracker (this one will come in handy come tax season).

 

   Crowded Road has released the very impressive iTalmud. This app has a built-in daf yomi calculator, allowing you to jump to the day’s daf. One can also listen to integrated shiurim as well. Due to the immense size of the Gemara, there is a content download manager that allows a user to download, discard, or re-download specific pages in order to save memory.

 

    To give you an idea just how much of an impact these Jewish applications have had on my life, in the last 24 hours I’ve used my iPod to say mincha, bircat hamazon, learn a portion of this week’s parsha, find a kosher restaurant in the Wall St. area, and figure out the gematria of my sizeable Hebrew name (Meir Shimshon Yonatan) .and sometimes I even use my iP od to listen to music.

 

   Author’s note: All features work for the iPhone. Some application features for the iPod touch require Internet connection via Wi-Fi.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “How Apple Made Me A Better Jew”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
What, me incite terror? Abba: "The Jews must be barred by any means possible."
Ex-Senior Justice Official Asks Homeland Security to Ban Abbas from US
Latest Sections Stories
Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Astaire-112114-Horse

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

L to R: Sheldon Adelson, Shawn Evenhaim, Haim Saban

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

South-Florida-logo

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

It was a land of opportunity, a place where someone who wasn’t afraid of a little hard work, or the challenges of adapting to a different climate and culture, could prosper.

Rule #1: A wife should never accompany her husband to hang out with his buddies at a fantasy football draft. Unless beer and cigars are her thing, that is.

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

The two World Series combatants, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams (meaning they didn’t win their respective divisions) that got hot at the right time.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/scitech/how-apple-made-me-a-better-jew/2009/06/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: