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Statement of Principles
Ratified June 21, 2012

Congregation Sha’arei Torah is a Modern Orthodox Synagogue in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our name, “Gates of Torah,” in the plural form, reflects one of our core beliefs: We all strive to follow the same Torah and are committed to halakhic observance. At the same time, we recognize that a life of Torah can be reached through many paths.

While we are a diverse group of individuals, we share certain essential values:

  • We believe that, as Jews, our ultimate purpose is to transform ourselves and to work toward the perfection of the world through the observance of mitzvot, the study of Torah, and the pursuit of a life based on Jewish ethics and ideals.

  • We are firmly committed to the observance of the mitzvot, as codified in widely accepted codes of Jewish Law, and as interpreted by responsible and competent poskim.

  • We recognize the fact that Jews at every level of observance have made vital material and spiritual contributions to the advancement of the Jewish people. We believe that all Jews can play a key role in shaping our collective destiny.

  • We believe the State of Israel is a gift from the Almighty and is central to the future of our people. We have a sacred responsibility to support it.

  • We are loyal to the laws and institutions of the United States of America, and we are committed to its ideals, including religious freedom and

  • We believe, in accordance with Jewish tradition, in the inclusion of women in Torah scholarship and communal leadership.

  • The human being was created be-tzelem Elokim – in the image of God. We believe that an important aspect of this attribute is human creativity. Therefore, the study and appreciation of the sciences, arts, and humanities is central to the actualization of our God-given potential. In addition, these areas of knowledge bring us closer to God by deepening our understanding of the Torah and His creation, and prepare us to meet the challenges of the contemporary world.

We believe that all of the above principles are in full consonance with Torah u-Mesorah – the letter and spirit of the Jewish religious tradition.

We are united in our commitment to creating a religious community where our members can cultivate these religious principles. We therefore intend that our tefillot (prayer services), our speakers and visiting scholars, our lay leadership, our rabbinic leadership, and our program of activities promote these values and ideals.

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