Hasidic Rabbi Releases “Kosher” AI Chatbot Alternative to ChatGPT

Just days after more than a dozen rabbis from the Skver Hasidic movement banned the use of artificial intelligence, citing tech firm OpenAI in particular, a new chatbot was created, geared toward ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Rabbi Moishy Goldstein, a Hasidic Jew living in Crown Heights, set out to create Kosher.Chat, an AI chatbot that works just like a ChatGPT-type platform, but the responses will be appropriate for Orthodox Jews or, sometimes, will be based on Halacha (Hebrew word Law).

“A friend messaged me last Motzoei Shabbos [Saturday night] the AI ​​ban issued by the Skver Rabbinical Court which suggested I release a kosher version that would mitigate their concerns,” Goldstein, a music producer and educator, told the Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

“A friend messaged me last Motzoei Shabbos [Saturday night] the ban on artificial intelligence issued by the rabbinical court of Skver which suggested I release a kosher version which would alleviate their concerns.

Moishy Goldstein

The friend reached out to Goldstein as he has already built a popular AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPZ.com.

“After reading the reasoning in Skver’s statement, I agreed it made sense to have a kosher version,” he continued. “They emphasized how AI chatbots are equivalent to the unfiltered internet and can answer questions ‘in fact’ in direct opposition to Torah views and values. From secular views on geology, biology and religion, to gender identity and abortion,” she said.

Rabbi Moishy Goldstein (credit: Moishy Goldstein)

Goldstein emphasized that “the bot’s purpose is not to answer Torah questions, halachic inquiries, or serve as a mouthpiece for Torah opinion, rather it is meant to be seen as a trivial chatbot, used to answer trivial questions, but with a Jewish filter to prevent responses from opposing Torah values.”

He added that one could still choose to ask Torah questions “and might even get pretty good answers,” but that the answers “can in no way be relied upon for practical halachic rulings nor substitute for a human rabbi.” Goldstein pointed out that “users are welcome to provide feedback for any response that is not in line with the Torah. With every little piece of feedback people share with me, I’m able to make the model even better.

Goldstein runs the Music Studio NYC but also teaches religious studies to middle school students at a local yeshiva.

Using the Kosher AI chatbot

Using Kosher.Chat is similar to using other AI-powered chat types, but sometimes the responses are wildly different. When asked about the meaning of the term “queer,” Kosher.Chat replied that “the term ‘queer’ is often used to refer to individuals who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. However, it is important to note that Judaism neither condones nor supports same-sex relationships and considers them a violation of Torah law.”

When the OpenAI chat was asked the same question, the response was much longer and contained sentences such as “The term ‘queer’ is an umbrella term used to describe a wide range of non-heterosexual and non-cisgender identities and experiences. It is often used as an alternative to more specific labels such as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, as it can encompass a wider range of genders and sexual orientations. He also stated that “it was used as a derogatory slur against LGBTQ+ people”.

When asked what LGBTQ+ means, Kosher.Chat said that “as an AI language model, I have no personal beliefs or opinions,” adding that “according to Torah values ​​and Jewish law, homosexuality is considered a violation of prohibition against same-sex relationships.” Only after that does he explain what the term actually means. The bot added that “it is important to treat all people with kindness and respect, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, while adhering to the values ​​and principles of the Torah.”

When asked if there are any LGBTQ+ Jews who are part of ultra-Orthodox communities, Kosher.Chat said that “it is not appropriate to discuss or speculate about the personal lives of individuals within the ultra-Orthodox community, including their sexual orientation or identity gender. ” Subsequently, he repeated that this is a violation of the values ​​​​of the Torah and Jewish law.

THE Send asked Kosher.Chat if Zionism is a positive movement. The bot replied that “the Lubavitcher Rebbe supported Zionism from a security perspective, but did not see it as a religious issue. He stressed the importance of education and Torah observance and encouraged Jewish continuity in Israel.

When asked to list the names of the heroes, OpenAI listed 20 examples such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. Kosher.Chat provided an entirely different list, “in Judaism, we have many heroes like Abraham, Moses, King David, and Esther,” it generated, even though Jewish heroes weren’t asked specifically.

A further question gives an understanding of the main differences: “Who is the Messiah?” It’s a question that was asked at two of the sites. OpenAI has provided an explanation of the term across Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Kosher.Chat responded that “according to Jewish belief, the Messiah is a future king and leader who will bring peace and redemption to the world. He will be a descendant of King David and will fulfill many prophecies in the Hebrew Bible.”

When asked who the most influential rabbis are today, Kosher.Chat ignores the merits, stating that “it is not appropriate to rank or compare rabbis in terms of influence. Each rabbi has their own unique teachings and contributions to the Jewish community. OpenAI agreed that it is difficult to decide who is more influential than others, but agreed to provide examples of rabbis widely recognized for their impact and leadership such as Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom; Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, the current Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel; Rabbi David Lau, current Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel; Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, prominent Modern Orthodox rabbi and spiritual leader of the influential Kehilath Jeshurun ​​Congregation in New York City; and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, known for books on sexuality and public speaking.

Kosher.Chat also keeps kosher and so if you ask him to write a poem about pizza, he will not mention the word pepperoni and may even ask you to kindly recite the Birkat Hamazon, the grace after meals.

When asked about sources of Kosher.Chat usage, Goldstein said “the knowledge base includes everything the core OpenAI model knows from its training, plus any additional information I train it with, based on user feedback “.

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