The Jewish apps market is flooded with apps for Jewish learning, but not all apps are equal. Here is our guide to the best Torah apps for your smartphone.
How much time do we spend waiting? Whether we’re waiting on line at the store, picking up children or grandchildren from school, or sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, we all spend a lot of time passing the time.
It’s said that Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, zt”l, once made a special siyum on finishing the entire Talmud, which he’d learned in the time he spent waiting for things to start. We might not be quite able to achieve that, but the proliferation of Torah apps means that as long as you have your phone, you have no excuse not to be learning something. Now you can carry a whole multi-volume Torah library around in your pockets, often with the option to search the text, look up commentaries, explanations and translations, interlink to biblical verses or sections of Talmud quoted within the text you are learning; and more. If you prefer to listen to an audio Torah shiur (lecture), or watch a video Torah class, there’s an app for that too. Enjoy reading inspirational Jewish articles? You can do that for free on your smartphone as well.
But not all Torah apps are equal. So many really excellent Torah apps are available for free, we haven’t showcased any paid Torah apps unless they are particularly worth paying for. Scroll down for our best free Torah apps for android phones and ipad/iphone.
(NB: An android phone is essentially any smartphone that is not made by Apple.)
Free Torah apps for learning Torah on your smartphone:
The Pocket Torah App offers On Demand Audio: With a simple click or touch of any Hebrew verse, the proper trope is chanted while the corresponding text is highlighted.
Tikkun View – With the simple swipe of a finger, users can choose whether they want to see the Hebrew as vowelized, text or as it appears in the Torah with crowns and without vowels.
Commentary Module that contains various commentaries from JTS, HUC, the OU, Torah.org and others.
Orayta (For Android Only)
The Orayta app lets you read and learn Torah from all the books of Judaism from any Android cellphone. Orayta essentially gives you an entire library of Jewish books, from a basic Chumash (bible) all the way to multiple commentaries on the Zohar. One big advantage of Orayta is that you can choose exactly which works you want to download and store on your phone, so that your phone’s memory isn’t taken up with virtual books that you’ll never use.
The available books include:
* A full Tanach with vowels and all the classic commentaries;
* Mishna and Gemara, both with full commentaries;
* The main works of the Rambam;
* Shulchan Aruch, Mishna Brura, Tur and Shulchan Aruch Harav;
* Many works of Jewish philosophy including Mesilat Yesharim, Kuzari, sefer chafetz chaim, and Derech Hashem;
* Classic Chassidic works including Tanya and Likutei Moharan; the Zohar and other kabbalistic works; and even more, all searchable by keyword.
The On Your Way app is a powerful virtual library of Jewish books, not very different from Orayta. You can download the full On Your Way app (120mb), or just get the basic version and then add whichever extra sections you want so as not too use up too much memory space. (For Android and now also for iPhone!)
On Your Way Yesod includes:
* TaNaCh (Bible) with all the classic commentators;
* Mishna with the commentaries of Bartenura and Tosfot Yom Tov;
* Talmud (Gemara) with the commentaries of Rashi and Tosfot;
* Midrash Raba, Midrash Tanchuma and Yalkut Shimoni.
On Your Way Halacha offers Shulchan Aruch, Tur, Shulchan Aruch Harav, Sefer Hachinuch and other halachic works.
On Your Way Machshava contains Sefer HaKuzari, Derech Hashem, Moreh Nevuchim, the works of the Maharal of Prague, Mesilat Yesharim, Sha’arei Teshuva, and more.
On Your Way Kabbalah has the Zohar, and great Chassidic works including Likutei Moharan, the Noam Elimelech, Menachem Mendel MiKotzk, the Ba’al Shem Tov, and more.
More than just Mishna Brura, the Mishna Brura app gives you Mishna Brura, Shulchan Aruch and Be’ur Halacha, fully inter-referenced and searchable in Hebrew, for free. (Android only.)
The Tanach App brings you full Tanach in vowelized Hebrew with English translation, including a narrated version. Features include easy scrolling, navigation, text magnification and more. (Android only.)
Offering you a bite-sized amount of Torah learning following the daily learning program of Chabad, in Tanach, Tehillim, Tanya, and Rambam’s Mishneh Torah. All the texts are in English and Hebrew (Android only).
Apps For Free Online Torah Classes:
YUTorah.org is possibly the biggest online library of audio Torah classes. With this app, you can access them all wherever you are. The YUTorah app allows you to browse and search by category, teacher, or series, and you can download audio recordings to your phone or tablet to listen to later. YUTorah also offers a huge number of written Torah thoughts and articles that you can access via the app.
Free app for Android and iPhone/iPad, giving you instant access to over 100,000 free Torah Lectures from JewishEverything.net. The app is continually updated with new lectures, so make sure to keep it installed on your device at all times (internet access is required to update, but the stored lectures are always available).
An app offering you a daily five-minute Torah talk on Chassidic teachings on the weekly Parsha.
Torah Anytime is a free app that promises instant access to top quality Torah classes by the worlds greatest Torah scholars. Torah Anytime allows you to watch video classes as well as listening to audio recordings, with over 100 new classes added every week.
Topics include Personal Growth, Jewish Mysticism, Dating & Marriage, Parenting, Israel, Holidays, Life Cycle and more. However, users should note that classes given by women can only be accessed if you log in specifying your gender as female.