Those of you who attended our pre-Selichot program heard the story of the sefer torah donated to the synagogue by Hazel Charles, memorializing her husband Larry and their parents. We had the chance to “welcome” the scroll that evening and to use it during the High Holy Days.
But there is more to the story than Hazel’s generosity. The scroll itself has an extraordinary history. It is a survivor in many ways, and our embrace of it has significance beyond the sacred words we will teach to ourselves and our children.
On Wednesday evening, October 18, beginning at 7:00 (sharp), we will dedicate the scroll, symbolically completing its restoration. Rabbi Menachem Youlos, who, with his parents, owns the Jewish Book Store of Greater Washington, will be with us to tell its story and assist in its dedication. He is responsible for locating the scroll, researching its history and restoring it to its state of ritual fitness. He is a remarkable man with remarkable stories to tell – and a fine scribe besides.
As good fortune would have it, we will dedicate another scroll that evening as well, God willing. Our own Gary Greenbaum discovered a most unusual and historically significant scroll during a recent trip to Israel. He purchased it, not certain of its kashrut or value. Through the efforts of Rabbi Youlos, the scroll was identified as to its origin and significance, and restored to a state of fitness as well. Gary has generously offered to lend the sefer torah to the synagogue for our use. He – and others – will have the honor of reading from it.
Please join us for a remarkable hour of history and renewal. The children of our Religious School will gather with us. I promise you an inspiring evening.
And when we dance with our seven scrolls on Simchat Torah, the following Saturday night and Sunday, we will know what the joy of Torah really can be.