Life Is With Apps: Celebrating the iSeder

Who needs to page through those old horseradish-stained, Maxwell House Haggadahs when you can just whip out the old cell?

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An iPad app for every Jewish holiday.Credit: Dreamstime

Passover apps are not for everyone's Monday night seder. They're not for the Orthodox, forbidden as they are to turn on anything electric over Shabbat and Jewish holidays. They're probably not for non-Orthodox Jews who can stand other people, either. But for all the rest, there will be what to download around the table, at least before the third and fourth glasses of wine kick in, the New York Times reports.

There is the Ultimate Digital Haggadah, whose makers say it transports users "from abject servitude to app-solute freedom." For the less cool, there's the Haggadah App with its illuminated manuscripts, long commentaries on the text, and an iPad Passover coloring book. For those who wish to pay tribute to the Bronfman family, there's the Bronfman Haggadah, featuring interviews with the late Edgar Bronfman and animated versions of paintings by his wife.

Some Jews think the iSeder is an idea whose time has come. Seth Kroll, 30, a filmmaker in Newton, Massachusetts, told his guests to download a particular haggadah on whatever gear they're bringing so they'll all be on the same screen.
“This is all something that we’re all familiar with, so it makes the seder more comfortable, like a normal thing we’d do,” Kroll told the Times.

Not everyone approves. Rabbi Daniel Nevins, dean of the rabbinical school at Jewish Theological Seminary in New York: “There is a place for using apps and all kinds of technology to prepare for the holiday, but I would prefer to do that beforehand so that when you’re actually at the seder you’re actually speaking to one another.”

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