A Torah Scroll Finds a Home

As you have heard, we are privileged to introduce a new Torah scroll into the Chabad Closter community.The mitzvah of completing a Torah is a joyous occasion and an important milestone for our congregation. I would like to impart to you the unique and moving story behind the Torah scroll:

About 14 years ago, a community in New Jersey commissioned a scribe (Sofer) in Israel to write a Torah for their synagogue. After an entire year of the scribe's strenuous work writing the Torah, the community backed out.. Eventually, our community member, Philip Gotthelf, came forward and volunteered to arrange for the Torah to be completed. Through his hard work, the Torah was finally received and put into use in that community. Two years ago, Chabad of Closter began serving the needs of the local Jewish community. We started conducting a weekly Shabbat service and this Torah scroll was given to our congregation. 

On Simchat Torah, it is customary to take out 3 Torah scrolls from the Ark and read a passage from each one. One of the passages is known as "V'zos HaBrachah," which includes the final passage of the Torah. Through divine providence, this Torah scroll was chosen for the final passage to be read from. We all stood with excitement around the bimah (Torah stand), at Chabad of Closter, in anticipation of hearing the Torah reader chant the final passage of the Torah. Instead, we all heard a scream from the Torah reader; his face looked agitated and confused. The Torah reader then points towards the final passage within the Torah scroll. THE FINAL PASSAGE IS MISSING!

As it turns out, the missing passage was not a mistake of the Scribe. The passage was intentionally left incomplete because it is the prevalent custom to celebrate the completion of a Torah at a Synagogue and to complete the scroll during that celebration! While the Scribe did convey this information, somehow this very important milestone for this Torah scroll was never completed. Sadly, this Torah scroll has been waiting 14 years to be completed with its final 3 words.

Take Part in the Mitzvah!

It just so happens that when this Torah scroll was taken out to read the final passage, it was the first time that we were using this Torah. If not for this occurrence, we could have gone on for many years reading from a Torah that was never completed. This is truly a moving and touching story for our community. Many individuals and families have inquired about how to take part in and dedicate the completion of the Torah.

If you would like to dedicate a Parshah in honor of someone, for a Refuah Shleimah (good health), in memory of a loved one or for the opportunity to fill in one of the final letters of the Torah: dedications are available for $180 per Parshah. The dedications will go towards the programs and campaigns of Chabad of Closter and will be used for the benefit of our community. Everyone will collectively benefit from participating in this great Mitzvah.

Please join us for the celebration of the Torah Dedication 


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