iPad Haggadah, Passover and Seder App and online Seders

Update; WSJ has a nice article about online Seders and the digitalization of Judaism: "Matzo Ball Soup, Check. iPad, Check. For Passover, Jews Try Techie Seders"

Now our review.

The Rambam says that it is a mitzvah for every Jew to write a Sefer Torah. To us it seems that there is a mitzvah lately for every Jew to write a Haggadah. We like that idea. And we have a tall pile of different editions of the Haggadah which we draw upon for the Seder.

Oh and by the way just about everyone we know is writing an iPad app or wants to write one. That is an urgent technology mitzvah of its own.

And so now this year David Kraemer, professor at JTS, is the author of a new Haggadah multimedia app for the iPad. The Haggadah includes eloquent introductions and commentary by Kraemer.

Here are some of the excellent additional features of this app. You can toggle between English and Hebrew in the Haggadah text. There is a cute Seder plate page that you can spin around - and see explanations of each item.

There is an oral commentary by Rabbi Irwin Kula, and nu, it could have been better and more insightful but we will take it for now as long as he redoes it for next year with more preparation and depth.

There is an oral commentary  that is a bit hard to find by Sharon Liberman Mintz, curator of Jewish art at The JTS Library, on the artwork. Featured are images of historical Haggadot from the Library’s collection, awesome. If you expand the art images that have a gold magnifying glass icon, you can hear her intelligent explanations.

There is an alternative “Sayder” by Amichai Lau-Lavie, rabbinical student at JTS, which is a bit hokie and uber-current, but we liked it. Your mileage may vary.

There is audio with transliteration of the Seder's most popular songs, very nice.

There are games for children, but we must critique the coloring pages. They seem to us to be too detailed for iPad coloring, even with small fingers. And we know this because? Because we have a three year old grandson who loves to color on our iPad. More user acceptance testing for next year please.

There are really bad jokes, sort of related to the Seder, and some fine recipes, which we have not tried so don't go by our generous opinion, and other features that we would discover if we had more time, we just got the app to evaluate, quite late in the season. 

David Kraemer and his crew have fulfilled with great aplomb the dual mitzvahs of writing a new Haggadah and of writing an iPad app. Bravo. Link.

Talmudic Books for Kindle on the Talmud, Bible, Kabbalah and Prayer
 The Kindle Edition of the Classic Soncino Talmud in English

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