A new Torah scroll was welcomed with music, dance, and other forms of celebration at the Peltz Center for Jewish Life on June 29.
The event was organized by Lubavitch of Wisconsin. Rabbi Dovid Rappoport commissioned the Torah with his wife, Faygie.
“We took on this project in an effort to unite the entire Jewish community in a celebration of the timeless relevance of the Torah,” Rappoport said. “Unity is an inextricable component of Jewish continuity, and we are proud of the active role our communities are taking in furthering that message.”
To further the uniting approach, this year is also the Jewish celebration of Hakhel, an opportunity once every seven years to celebrate Jewish unity and learning.
A Torah scroll is Judaism’s most sacred object according to a news release from the event. The scrolls are done by hand just as they were 3,300 years ago with this one taking more than a year to complete.
A Torah scroll is comprised of exactly 304,805 letters and has 62 to 84 sheets of parchment, which is cured, tanned, scraped, and prepared according to specifications put forth by Torah law. Any errors void the parchment.
Expert scribe Rabbi David Raskin helped to ink the final letters of the scroll before a parade to the synagogue. The scroll was taken to the streets under a canopy in a “joyous procession,” which included live music, dancing, and torches. About 300 people were in attendance.
Once the Torah was at the synagogue, those in attendance listened to a lecture by Rabbi Moshe Bryski, the executive director of the Conejo Jewish Academy and Chabad of Agouraq Hills, in Agoura Hills, California.
Bryski spoke about the continued impact of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson who passed away in 1994. The Rebbe’s teachings focused on the inherent goodness and infinite potential of people. The Rebbe also had a goal to help Jews connect with their heritage.
The Torah scroll will be put to use every Saturday when a portion of it is read in the synagogue as part of weekly Shabbat prayers at the Peltz Center.