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Ask the “Bitcoin Rabbi” | Jewish general

Is the cryptocurrency Bitcoin kosher? If you look for an answer to this question on the Internet, you will quickly come across various articles whose authors express different opinions. Michael Caras knows the debate all too well. The 31-year-old has made a personal decision: Bitcoin and Judaism – they go together.

The Orthodox rabbi is enthusiastic about the world’s oldest and largest cryptocurrency. He says: “As soon as I understood how it all works and why it works, I fell in love straight away.” The fascination and knowledge that Caras has acquired over the years on the topics of Bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency is what he gives self-proclaimed “Bitcoin Rabbi” like to continue.

twitter Caras’ Twitter account, on which he writes about new developments in cryptocurrency, is currently followed by more than 18,000 users – including many interested people from the Jewish community. “I enjoy connecting with both of my communities on Twitter, both Jewish Twitter and Bitcoin Twitter,” says Caras.

Not infrequently, through his crypto activism, he would reach people who are Jewish but have little to do with religion and tradition. “Since they feel a kind of connection with me through Bitcoin Twitter, it is also okay for them if I give them information without lecturing them.”

Caras studied Jewish law and ethics at the Yeshiva Ohr Tmimim in Kfar Chabad in Israel. In Albany, New York State, the crypto fan teaches Judaism and technology at the Maimonides Hebrew Day School. Enlightening people about Bitcoin and how digital currency works without notes and coins is what the bustling rabbi has made into a life’s work.

advantages and disadvantages His book was published in 2019 A Tale of Bitville Discovering Good Money. In the completely secular volume, which is now also available in German translation (Bitcoin money: A story about the discovery of good money in Bitdorf) and other languages, children explore different means of exchange and their advantages and disadvantages. The focus is – how could it be otherwise – the answer to the question: “Why Bitcoin?”

It is not surprising that children are the protagonists: the book illustrated by Caras is primarily aimed at young readers. Introducing you to the subject of Bitcoin at an early stage was also the reason for the author to write the book. Caras has five children himself, whom he would like to introduce to the world of virtual money. But his book also offers interested adults exciting insights into the world of cryptocurrencies. Because it is really not easy for the layman to see through.

Bitcoin started in 2008/09 with the idea of ​​creating a virtual payment option independent of control by banks or states. Hence the name. “Bit” stands for a digital storage unit, “Coin” is the English term for coin. Bitcoin, like all other crypto currencies, is primarily about creating a digital currency that is strictly encrypted, cannot be manipulated and can be used by anyone. For those who find this cryptic, Caras’ book is recommended.

jewish crypto chat Questions like “Can I pay for my Jewish wedding with Bitcoin?” Are not dealt with in the book. The rabbi answers these via Twitter or the WhatsApp group “Jewish Crypto Chat”, in which he actively takes notes.

“Judaism has many legal frameworks for the use of money,” says Caras. A Jewish wedding, for example, is a transaction. “The groom puts a ring on his bride’s finger because he has to give her something of value under the chuppah.”

It is possible that bitcoins will be exchanged with one another instead of wedding rings in the future. The “Bitcoin Rabbi” would certainly not mind.

Hasan Sheikh
Hasan, who loves technology and games, is studying Computer Engineering at Delhi JNU. He has been writing technology news since 2016.


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