The fifth day of Chanuka, 29th Kislev (December 29th), will not quickly leave our memory. It was a very full day of Torah completion and celebration. The day started with letter writing at 9:30am, followed by dancing the Torah to the Oro Shel Adam Beit Midrash/shul at 11:20am, the hachnasa itself 12:00 noon, a festive celebratory meal in The Psagot Winery at 1pm, and ended with a community chaggiga/celebration in the Oro Shel Adam beit midrash at 6:30pm, where the Torah now resides.
Now that we have a completed Torah, may we learn, teach, safe-guard, and uphold our cherished Torah for all of our days!
We would like to send our deepest thanks and toda raba to Dr. and Mrs. Ronald Ellis for sponsoring the Torah in memory of their parents and donating it to the yeshiva and our community in Adam. We are overcome with appreciation not only for the Torah that you have lovingly donated but also for all the time and effort you put into making the Torah Ceremony.
The Sefer Torah and the Torah ceremony are in loving memory of Mordichia ben Zelig Z”L, Chava bat Yosef Z”L (Dr. Ellis’s parents), Raizel bat Yaakov Z”L (Mrs. Ellis’s Mother), and in the zechut of Natan ben Mordichia (ad meah v’esrim!).
One of the unique aspects of a kosher Sefer Torah is that it cannot be missing one letter. Furthermore, if one part of one letter is unrecognizably blemished or if a letter was invalidly carved out, the Torah is pasul and disqualified from use.
Why are we so strict when it comes to the letters of the Torah? Regarding a megilla we are much more lenient if there is a missing or blemished letter. What is the root of our stringent policy when it comes to a Sefer Torah?
The Sefarim Hakedoshim teach us that the worlds were created via the holy letters, as it says in Tehilim (33:6), “with the words of Hashem the heavens were made.” This is hinted to in the first pasuk of the Torah, “בראשית ברא אלוקים את השמים ואת הארץ.” What did God create before the heavens and the earth? Hashem first created “את” aleph through taf and then subsequently went on to create the rest of the world.
What could be more cosmic or more fundamental than that!?
Chaza”l teach us that there are six hundred thousand letters in a Torah. Corresponding to that reality there are six hundred thousand souls in the Jewish People. Each member of Am Yisrael is a letter in the Torah. That letter within us is our Godly spark, our חלק אלוקה ממש. The Meor Einayim teaches us that our specific “letter” gives us holiness and spiritual vitality. To the extent that we connect with our letter to that extent are we in touch with ourselves and our inner voice. If we ignore our inner letter and allow ourselves to be shaped and formed by externals, we lose our inner peace.
Our own letter is important; the letter of our fellow Jew is also extremely important. When we dovin (and learn Torah), we accept upon ourselves to sincerely love each Jew. The depth behind this halacha brought by the Magen Avraham (siman 46) is that dovining is the art of combining holy letters to form prayers to Hashem. The letters cannot be joined together and elevate Heavenward if they are at odds with one another. (Meor Einayim)
We would all agree that the story of in-fighting between Yosef and the brothers was a tragic chapter for our people. It had lasting effects in the generations after it happened and beyond. Every year when we read Parshat Vayeshev we are pained at the thought that family members from the house of Yaakov Avinu could sell their brother into slavery. No one would think to say, “What’s the big deal, there are 11 more sons in the house?” We know and live with the consciousness that each soul is a complete world and every time a soul is lost it is as if the entire world has been lost.
These souls are letters that make up a Sefer Torah. There is no Torah without them, without all of them – fully completed.