New Tanach for iPhone

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With almost three years experience in the iPhone apps,  especially these concerning Jewish issues,  it becomes increasingly difficult to enrapture.

Almost all aspects of Jewish life have its counterparts in apps. From naming your child to Izkor (text for the mourning rituals in Judaism). There are apps promoting organisations, communities and events. We can use guides for Israel and for Jewish places all over the world. With the help of those apps you can find a synagogue, kosher restaurant or mikveh.  And if you are Jewish single… well there’s an app for that too.

The Israeli developers make the difficult enough life in Eretz Ha’Kodesh, a bit easier by creating apps for car rentals, airlines, rail and bus lines. TV, banks, almost all radio stations, many newspapers, bars, restaurants and pubs they have their own apps – all at your fingertips.

At the AppStore you can find applications teaching you Judaism, helping in organising your life, be it secular or religious. There is a decent amount of religious texts in Hebrew and in translations – Talmud, Mishna, prayer books, commentaries to Torah, the Torah itself and the complete Tanach.

Davka one of the world’s largest developers of Judaic and Hebrew software for Mac and PC just released new app, called Totally Tanach for iPhone (iPad only version can be found here). The company has already quite a few successful releases for iPhone (we reviewed them not long ago) – iRambam, iBless Food, iBless Torah, iGematria.

Totally Tanach featuring the complete text of the 24 books of  TanachTora (Five Books of  Moses) as well as Nevi’im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings).

Beside the full Hebrew text you can also find here English translations and synchronised with Hebrew  verse-by-verse Rashi’s commentary.  Moderate and user friendly interface lets you focus on studying. Clear and legible navigation symbols don’t need explaining.

There are few ways to read Totally Tanach: Hebrew, two columns Hebrew and English and Rashi comments assigned to each verse of the Hebrew text.  All you have to do is to tap on the right letter – Latin, Hebrew, script of  Rashi – and you enjoy reading in the mode selected by you.

Other useful features are bookmarks, copy text and light speed fast searcher. The name of  Perek (chapter), in which the sought phrase comes up, is given in English and Hebrew and the result of  searching is highlighted (the option of searching in English is not available).

The Hebrew text  in Totally Tanach,  as in the majority of printed versions, has a Nikud (signs used to represent vowels) and Te’amim (cantillation signs – purpose of this signs is to guide the chanting of  the Torah text).

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The part of Avoda Zarah treaty say as  ‘Rebbi Yehoshua was asked, “May a man teach his son Greek“. He responded, “He may do so, but only during a time which is neither day nor night, for during the entire day and the entire night one is obligated to study the Torah and there is no free time in which to engage in the teaching or practice of Greek wisdom.” As the prophet says:  “This Book of the Torah shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night” (Yehoshua 1:8-9)’.  What does it mean? Any time of the day or night that a person is not involved in the performance of  another Mitzvah, he is obligated to involve himself  in the study of  Torah.  It is hard nowadays to find the excuse to not to do so…

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When at the brake of the 1960s and 1970s  Lubavitcher Rebbe started nowadays  famous “Mitzvah Campaign” he suggested ten possible “beginner’s mitzvot” – precepts which, are ideally suited for a first experience of  the mitzvah connection. One of  them was:  “furnish your home with as many holy books as possible”.

And if  I may add to that – and fill up your iPhone/ iPad with as many Jewish apps as possible. “Totally Tanach”  is one of  a-must-have apps.

Robert Pass

Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

Category: Education
Released: September 26, 2010
PublisherDavka Corporation © 2010 Davka Corporation and Redlex
Price: $9.99 (buy app)




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