Mourning the Temple's Destruction? There's an App for That
08/07/2011 - 09:12
Rabbi Jason Miller
Android App for the Tisha B'Av Reading of Eichah (Lamentations)
Android App for the Tisha B'Av Reading of Eichah (Lamentations)

Tisha B'Av, the 25-hour fast day beginning Monday night, is not the most popular holiday on the Jewish calendar. Many Jews let this summer day of commemoration of the destruction of the two temples in Jerusalem (as well as other calamities that befell the Jewish people) go by without much attention. However, for the Jewish people who spend part of the night and day in solemn prayer, listening to the dirgeful recitation of Eichah (Lamentations), there is now an impressive Android app to help them follow along with the text.

ZigZag, Inc., the makers of the Hebrew-in-Hand app, released the Eichah app in time for Tisha B'Av. What makes the Eichah app useful is that there is no restriction on electricity on Tisha B'Av so observers can utilize the app on their Android-powered handheld devices during the prayer services.

The Eichah app contains the fully-pointed Hebrew text of the Lamentations with a classic English translation. The book is the sad telling of the loss of Jerusalem and her people. This ancient poem transcends history, connecting the human tragedy with a call to remember, and to renew faith.

Some of the features of the the Eichah app from ZigZag include the full Hebrew text with vowels and cantillation marks, as well as background and descriptive material about the book of Eichah. The text can be viewed with Hebrew and English side-by-side (in either portrait or landscape mode). It also boasts an easy-to-use navigation bar at the bottom of the screen, allowing the user to scroll to any verse in the chapter. When both Hebrew and English are displayed together, the scrolling stays synchronized verse by verse. The text can be resized in seven sizes to provide better readability for the visually impaired. ZigZag made use of its Hebrew in Hand technology for displaying the crisp Hebrew lettering for the app.

The Eichah (Lamentations) app can be downloaded at Amazon.com or from the Android market.

Rabbi Jason Miller is president of Access Computer Technology. Follow Rabbi Jason on Twitter and Facebook.

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