Writing a New Torah: A Celebration
In 2007, we of Tikvat Israel Congregation rededicated ourselves to creating a
“Makom Torah—a Place of Torah.”
The very last of the 613 commandments in the Torah is to write a Torah! Few of us have the skill to complete this commandment ourselves.
At Tikvat Israel, however, we have the exciting opportunity to fulfill this Mitzvah in a very concrete way. Rabbi Menachem Youlus, our scribe, helped every member who made a pledge before April 29, 2007 to fill in a letter in our new scroll on that day. Fellow congregants who have done this can attest to its power to move you and inspire you to deepen your faith and commitment to God and our people.
Rabbi Yosi Ben Kisma: said “I was once walking on the road, when a certain man met me. He greeted me, ‘Shalom,’ and I responded: ‘Shalom.’ He said, ‘Rabbi, from which place are you?’ and I said to him: ‘I am from a great city of scholars and sages.’ He said: ‘Rabbi, if you will live with us in our place, I will give you a million dinars, gold, silver, precious stones and pearls.’ I replied: ‘Even if you give me all the silver and gold, precious stones and pearls in the world, I will dwell only in a place of Torah.’” (Avot, 6:9)
Jim Hendler prepares to inscribe a letter with the guiding help of Rabbi Menachem Youlus
How will contributions to the Makom Torah campaign help make Tikvat Israel a Place of Torah in the years ahead?
- Our beautiful new Torah scroll will allow us to continue to fulfill the commandment of public Torah reading from a Kosher scroll on Shabbat and holidays.
- A renovated, climate-controlled ark will permit us to house our Torah scrolls in a manner that befits their dignity and ensures many years of use.
- Top instructors for our adult education programs will increase our understanding and appreciation of Torah.
- Enhancements to our award-winning religious school will enable our educators to more effectively instill a love of Torah in the coming generations.
- Supporting our library will expand our knowledge of Torah and its background, commentary and meaning for the Jewish people.
- Improved and strengthened religious programming will deepen our attachment to God, to Torah, and to the Jewish people.
- A more accessible synagogue will allow every Jew to come close to the Torah.
Rabbi Gorin has posted the following FAQ on Makom Torah, as well as some examples of what makes a Torah scroll "pasul" - invalid and unfit for reading at synagogue services: