For the first time ever, the Torah is available in NFT form.
An NFT, a non-fungible token, is a unique work of art or other piece of intellectual property that has been transformed into a digital asset. NFTs are sizzling hot in the tech world, and for Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone and Jonathan Caras, co-founders of the NFTorah project, NFTs are the next frontier for Torah and spirituality.
Mordechai and his wife Chana are the directors of Tech Tribe, a New York division of Chabad Young Professionals that works with Jews in tech and digital media, and they are thrilled to bring this project to their tech-savvy community.
Elissa Shevinsky, a member of Tech Tribe and a veteran in the crypto currency industry, is excited to see such a meaningful use of the NFT technology. In an email exchange with Lubavitch.com, she said, “This is one of the more unique and thoughtful [NFT] projects that I’ve seen.”
Participants can buy NFTs that represent an entire Torah portion or an individual letter, and unlike other NFTs which remain merely digital, the proceeds will fund a physical sefer Torah.
“There’s a lot of hype and superficial interest around NFTs,” said Mordechai, “and there’s not a lot of truly transformative uses.” This project will defy that pattern, transforming purchased NFTs into a physical, ink-on-parchment Torah scroll.
Participants in the NFT Torah will own a lasting digital record which Jonathan thinks is “more tangible and personal than simply an email saying you donated.”
Jonathan has worked professionally in the NFT industry since its inception and is fascinated by the many parallels he sees between the technology and Torah concepts. That fascination led him to this project, and he is hopeful that many more Jewish applications will evolve.
NFTorah’s immediate goal is to write three sefer Torahs, but the long-term hope is for the campaign model to be given to other communities in need of a sefer Torah. The process will take approximately one year to complete.