Chabad ‘Tech Tribe’ Gets Into the NFT Craze



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    Chabad ‘Tech Tribe’ Gets Into the NFT Craze

    For the uninitiated, NFTs – or non-fungible tokens – are blockchain-based certificates tied to digital or physical collectibles. “Non-fungible,” more or less, means that something is unique and can’t be replaced with something else, like a one-of-a-kind baseball card. NFTs can be anything digital, such as drawings, music… and a Torah. “I asked some people who are very into NFTs to work together on a project. We would sell digital Torahs to fund the creation of actual Torah scrolls,” Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone said • Full Story, Photos

    The Jerusalem Post

    NFTs continue to be a source of fascination for artists, athletes, celebrities, brands and collectors. And for techie hassidim.

    For the uninitiated, NFTs – or non-fungible tokens – are blockchain-based certificates tied to digital or physical collectibles. “Non-fungible,” more or less, means that something is unique and can’t be replaced with something else, like a one-of-a-kind baseball card. NFTs can be anything digital, such as drawings, music… and a Torah.

    “I asked some people who are very into NFTs to work together on a project. We would sell digital Torahs to fund the creation of actual Torah scrolls,” Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone said. Lightstone is a Brooklyn-based Chabad rabbi who directs social media for Chabad.org and is the founder of Tech Tribe, a community for Jewish people in technology and digital media.

    NFTs have become a bit of a flashpoint online, with some anointing them as the next phase of the Internet, while others see them as a passing fad.

    “We don’t want to be zeitgeist-y and of the minute and certainly didn’t want to do a quick cash grab – a spiritual cash grab as it were. We want to find a way to use the technology on a physical and spiritual plane. Writing a real Torah scroll, funded by NFTs, touched all those different points,” Lightstone said.

    Lightstone worked with a fellow tech-savvy rabbi, Jerusalem-based Jonathan Caras, on the NFTorah project. Caras’s own brother is Michael Caras, known as the “Bitcoin Rabbi.”

    The NFTorah project began with a series of commissioned artworks, each representing a portion (or chapter) of the Torah. But now, the focus is on creating NFTs tied to individual letters in a handwritten Torah scroll.

    For years, there have been programs for religious Jews to purchase and “own” a single letter in a physical Torah. Now, the concept has gone digital.

    “We’re just using the current technology to bring awareness to it, to show uniqueness. There’s a message here, right? Every letter in the Torah is unique – even one alef is different from another alef. It’s just like the idea of crypto. It creates uniqueness in the digital space. Every mitzvah is unique, every soul is unique and it drives that message home,” said Lightstone, who also introduced an NFT menorah this Hanukkah.

    Lightstone worked with a fellow tech-savvy rabbi, Jerusalem-based Jonathan Caras, on the NFTorah project. Caras’s own brother is Michael Caras, known as the “Bitcoin Rabbi.”

    The NFTorah project began with a series of commissioned artworks, each representing a portion (or chapter) of the Torah. But now, the focus is on creating NFTs tied to individual letters in a handwritten Torah scroll.

    For years, there have been programs for religious Jews to purchase and “own” a single letter in a physical Torah. Now, the concept has gone digital.

    “We’re just using the current technology to bring awareness to it, to show uniqueness. There’s a message here, right? Every letter in the Torah is unique – even one alef is different from another alef. It’s just like the idea of crypto. It creates uniqueness in the digital space. Every mitzvah is unique, every soul is unique and it drives that message home,” said Lightstone, who also introduced an NFT menorah this Hanukkah.







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    Chabad ‘Tech Tribe’ Gets Into the NFT Craze



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