Does the iPad Torah App Make Your Device Sacred?

Barry Schwartz at Rusty Brick Inc alerted us to his new and incredible iPad Torah App today. So now we have it on our iPad.

It is indeed a scrolling replica of an actual Torah scroll - a great asset for Torah readers who wish to practice on the go! A neat concept and nicely executed with a little "yad" pointer icon that you can activate and use while you read from your iPad Torah.

But on further analysis we started to ponder some Talmudic questions. Now that we have an actual Torah on our iPad, can we take it into, ahem, the lavatory? Does this app make our iPad into a holy book?

After due consideration, we have made our initial ruling on this matter. As long as you do not open the app in a place that is not dignified for sacred books, there is no problem. From the perspective of Jewish law, a closed app is nothing more than an cartoon icon. Yes, you heard it here first.


Gil Student said...


Q: I have prayers and the Tanach on my cell phone. Is it permissible to enter into the bathroom with it?

A: Yes. When it is not on the screen, it is covered, and this is not the type of writing which the Torah spoke about (Shut Igrot Moshe Yoreh Deah 1:173 and Shut She'eilat Shlomo 4:237).


Q: Is it permissible to take a computer which contains holy texts into the bathroom?

A: It is permissible. If the text currently appears on the scene, it must have a double covering.

Tzvee Zahavy said...

Barry Schwartz wrote to us, "Thanks for the blog post, funny you picked that topic being that we blogged it about 5 hours ago http://www.rustybrick.com/jewish-iphone-siddur-bathroom.html"