– What is gTorah? 

gTorah is a Dvar Torah service. gTorah’s mission is to connect everyone, at any stage of their journey, with insightful concepts that resonate.

This service exists to unpack some of Judaism’s subtle lessons and present them to you in an accessible format.

The Torah’s stories are cryptic and nuanced; understanding its ethical principles in a thought-provoking way requires clarity and simplicity. R’ Samson Raphael Hirsch quipped that if you perform symbolic acts without understanding the symbolism, you just end up doing a bunch of strange things for literally no reason.

– Who is behind gTorah? 

The site’s founding editor is Neli Gertner. All articles are original writing.

Neli grew up in London, and then attended Beis Yisrael and the Mir Yeshiva in Israel. Neli holds a BA from Excelsior College, an LLB and MA from BPP University Law School and Business School, and an LLM from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. Neli considers it one of his life’s greatest privileges to be a student of Rabbi Shlomo Farhi.

In July 2015, Neli married the wonderful Tamara Perlstein from Lawrence, and they live on the Upper West Side in New York.

Brocha Simon coordinates the invisible parts of gTorah seamlessly.

– gTorah’s Ethic

R’ Samson Raphael Hirsch taught that the righteous are those who fear God not only in the safety and privacy of their homes; but in the midst of the city as well; playing a prominent part in public life and exerting influence to make a positive impact. Judaism believes in spreading Torah knowledge through the masses; rather than keeping it as the exclusive possession of an intellectual elite. We are not meant to be blind followers; we are supposed to become educated leaders.

There are many variations of politics, philosophy, morality, ethics and ideology. There are fundamentalists, separatists, isolationists, and lots in between. However, when you define yourself solely by what you are not, what you are is not much at all. You need to believe in something that stands on its own. 

Hillel summed up the Torah’s key theme in one sentence: whatever is despicable to you, don’t do to others. A person living the Torah’s principles makes that person a force of good in the world. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks remarks that Judaism’s gift to humankind is humanity itself – a life that, when encountered, would be recognized as the way people ought to behave towards one another.

It is not my intention to preach; I am part of the audience as well. Every word I write comes from a place of personal struggle. I will only publish a thought I connect with that adds lasting value.

gTorah is my journey, shared with you.