Three Ways to Go Digital This HanukkahDecember 7, 2012 12:13 pm ·
For the sake of under-reported-on holidays, here’s some fun digitization of the upcoming Festival of Lights, Hannukah (not to be confused with Diwali, the other Festival of Lights). Hanukkah is an eight-day holiday in the Jewish religion, which observes the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, many, many, many, many years ago. Each night is commemorated by lighting a candle on a Menorah, which has an arm to hold each of nine candles, the ninth used to light the others.
Hanukkah, like Christmas, has seen drastic over-commercialization in recent years, with inflatable menorahs for suburban lawns being as readily available for keeping up with the Joneses once December rolls around. Huffington Post describes how some Jewish thought leaders are of the opinion that assimilating the holiday into American culture is counter to the original idea behind Hanukkah- refusing to conform. However, being so close to the Christmas holiday, gift-giving has become somewhat of an expectation, especially for children.
Both iOS and Android have a handful of playful and helpful applications to keep the holiday with you on your mobile device, making it as personal and traditional or gaudy and commercialized as you like.
This app for Android, available in the Google Play store has visual aids for how to light each night, traditional Hanukkah songs and lyrics (including translations in to English), an alert to tell you when Hanukkah is, and can put the live Menorah on your home screen.
Light my fire
Only available on iOS, Light My Fire is an app for the holiday presented by The Jewish Museum. The app takes advantage of the iPhone’s beautiful look. You can choose a lamp (photos of the gorgeous and intricate menorahs from the collection of the Jewish Museum), a background, and virtually light the lamp on each day of the holiday. It also has content about the traditions of the celebration, blessings, and prayers. And of course you can share to your favorite social media.
This mobile version of the Our Jewish Community website includes a Livestream of holiday services, among other year-round Jewish online community benefits, such as podcasts, videos, and blogs from the Rabbis who run the site. It also has a function to share content.