In the last few years, we have seen a flood of apps created to make life easier for observant Jews. In an effort to discover the “must-have” Jewish apps, I recently asked friends, family, and social media connections about their favorite and most utilized Jewish apps. Below is a list I compiled of the top 12.
Some of the apps on this list have already gained prominence in the mainstream Jewish world. Others are still relatively new. All of them are free and, unless otherwise noted, are downloadable to both iPhones and Androids.
In last week’s column, we discussed CRC Kosher, Kosher GPS, Shabbat Times, Omer Count, CALJ, and J-SOS. This week, we will conclude our list of must-have free Jewish apps.
On Your Way: The entire Torah is literally at the fingertips of those who download the On Your Way app. It includes numerous categories including Tanach, Mishna, Gemara, Medroshim, Halacha, Mussar, Chassidus, and Siddur. It is also very organized with each category divided into sub-categories, and the sub-categories themselves divided into further sub-categories so that users can easily find exactly what they are looking for.
The app also provides a variety of explanations for the text on the screen. For example, a typical verse in Parshas Shmos might have explanations by Rashi, Kli Yakar, Orach Chayim, Ibn Ezra, Sforno, and Targum Yonasan below the text. The user can choose which, if any, of the explanations he or she would like to see next to the text.
Please note: This app is entirely in Hebrew.
Torah Shiurim: Want to utilize every moment of the day and expand the mind? There are so many free apps with on-demand Torah classes that it would be impossible to list them all. A few of the more popular apps, however, are TorahAnytime, Chabad.org and Aish.com.
Tefillin Wrapp (for men): Tefillin Wrapp connects people who want to put on tefillin but do not own – or are not in proximity to – a pair of tefillin with people who want to help others put on tefillin.
Tefillin Wrapp is location-based. Users can sign up as a Provider or a Requester. Providers receive requests when Requesters are within a designated mileage range and desire to put on tefillin. The app connects Provider and Requester, and voila, the Requester has the opportunity to fulfill this mitzvah.
JStream: Enjoy listening to Jewish music? The JStream app enables users to listen to various streams of music. Users can choose stations such as Jewish Hits, Chazaq Radio, Jewish Entertainment Network, Jewish Music Stream, and Radio Kol Chaim.
Siddur App: Numerous siddur apps exist, and the one a user chooses to download will depend largely on his or her particular nusach. Some popular siddur apps include Siddur Torah Ohr (Nusach Ari), Chailifeline Siddur (Nusach Ashkenaz), SiddurApp (Nusach Sfarad according to the customs of Ashkenazim) and Kol Sasson (Orot Sephardic Siddur according to the customs of Sephardim).
There are numerous other siddur apps available in the App Store or Google Play, some free and some for a nominal fee.
My Mikvah Calendar (for women): The My Mikvah Calendar app helps women keep track of their mikveh calendar. Please note: This app is based on Chabad minhagim, although users have the option to choose from several rabbanim. I list this particular app because, as far as I can tell, it seems to be the only truly free app in this genre. There are numerous other mikveh apps that can be downloaded for a nominal fee.
Is there a free Jewish app you love that hasn’t made this list? Please contact me and perhaps it will be included in a future must-have Jewish app list!