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May 8, 2006

unusual hachnassat sefer Torah

My former shul in Chicago where my family still davens, and has always davened as long as I can remember, just celebrated moving into a new building and a special Hachnassat Sefer Torah. I was not there for it, but you can read about it here and here. The first link even mentions and quotes a fellow blogger, Neil Harris, who was present at the event.
It is an interesting story of a congregation over 135 years old in Chicago with a Sefer Torah over 100 years old. Worth your time reading it. Quote of note (from first link), "I am a goy. I am the gentile on the block."

Mazel tov!

Hat tip to YeshivaWorld.


Second link is fixed.

For those of you who do not want to click on the link of the article (I am told it requires registration), I am copying the article below:

Synagogue welcomes sacred textCongregation marks the opening of its new home with the arrival of a scroll of a Torah

By Jamie FranciscoTribune staff reporterPublished May 8, 2006

Clapping and singing, the celebrants flooded West Touhy Avenue on Sunday as Rabbi Zev Cohen carried the sacred scroll of a Torah to their new synagogue in West Rogers Park."When you bring a new Torah you welcome it, you parade it, you dance with it," said his mother, Ruth, visiting from New York. "We make a big celebration. It's a very big thing, a very holy thing."Cohen, leader of the Jewish orthodox Congregation Adas Yeshurun Anshe Kanesses Israel, cradled the Torah that has been in his family since 1904. He said his great-great grandfather brought it from Belarus to his family's Massachusetts farm in 1906.The jubilant event signified the opening of the synagogue's new building at 3050 W. Touhy Ave., he said."It's been in our family for seven generations," said Cohen, who has led the 131-year-old synagogue for 25 years. "We are adding another level of holiness by bringing another Torah scroll into our synagogue."Special rules govern the care of a Torah, which contains the five books of Moses, including how it is moved from one place to another. As Cohen carried the scroll from his home to the synagogue, members of the congregation held up a chuppah, a traditional Jewish canopy, to shelter the scroll as a band played Jewish folk music.The event drew hundreds of people from the community. Dozens of men wearing black hats surrounded the chuppah, singing songs, dancing and clapping. Children ran alongside the procession as mothers wheeled their young children in strollers on the way to the synagogue."It's a nice opportunity to show Jewish unity," said Neil Harris, who attended the event with his 6-year-old son, Eli. Harris just moved to the neighborhood from Indianapolis and read about the procession in a flier.Reena Yudkowsky-Sakols, 42, watched the procession with her husband and two daughters. She has been part of the synagogue since she was 6, and the event is a significant tradition in the Jewish community, she said."It's tremendously important to our hearts, our health and our relationship to the community," she said. "It doesn't matter if you're from the neighborhood."Neighborhood resident C. Vince Franco took a break from planting tomatoes in his backyard to watch his neighbors walk by in the procession."I'm a goy," Franco said. "We're the gentiles on the block."It was the first time Franco, who has lived in the neighborhood for eight years, has witnessed such a ceremony.The neighborhood's strong Jewish character is "one of the greatest things about living" here, Franco said.After its arrival in Massachusetts, the scroll remained at the Cohen family farm until Ruth Cohen brought it to her home in Boston in 1972, for use when family members or neighbors were too ill to attend services.After she moved to New York last year, the family decided to place the scroll in the ark of the synagogue when it moved to its larger, 25,000-square-foot facility.Although the scroll will no longer be in the family's direct care, they will still have access to it, she said."It's going to be mine forever," Ruth Cohen said. "I feel that everybody should use it rather than it just sit in the closet of my house. Whoever needs it will use it."----------


  1. I was there too

  2. I believe it is evil to include links i have to register to read. I believe i get enough junk mail, thank you very much. Also, check your second link... not sure that's where you meant.

  3. oops. The second link is wrong. Thanks for pointing it out..
    I did not realize about the registration - I was already registered there so it was automatic. I will post the article itself..

  4. Shaya - so describe it.

    If you wish you can write up your thoughts about it, email it to me and I will put it up from you as a guest blogger (a.k.a. contributor) on the main page..


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