Celebrating Our New Torah Scroll

by John Lewsen, May 31, 2024

Hold the date … because in the afternoon of Sunday, June 16 Solel will be celebrating the installation of our new Torah

In the words of Rabbi Pollack’s introduction to Solel’s Living Torah Project web page: “Torah is the heart and soul of the Jewish community. The Torah encompasses our history, our beliefs, our traditions, our culture, reminds us of our past, and is a guide for our future”

On the morning of Sunday, June 16, Rabbi Yonah Lavery-Yisraeli will be arriving in Mississauga from her home in New York with a carefully packed case containing the scroll she has been meticulously scribing for the past three years. Rabbi Lavery-Yisraeli is one of only a handful of women around the world who works as a Soferet. She painstakingly produces the ritual documents of Jewish life that include mezuzah inserts, marriage contracts (ketubbot), and Torah scrolls. She is also one of an even smaller group of women who have written an entire Torah scroll, all 304,805 letters done entirely by hand on parchment.

Rabbi Lavery-Yisraeli’s first task after arriving at Solel will be to complete the sewing together of the sacred parchments before attaching them to the newly crafted Torah polls. In the afternoon, once this important task has been completed, we are all looking forward to a unique and sacred celebration as we bear witness to the completion of the Torah that will be the cornerstone of our worship at Solel for the next 50 years and beyond.

This unique and once-in-a-lifetime event would not have been possible without the generosity of the late Gerry and Nancy Willis who initiated our new Torah scroll project. Many Solel members have also generously contributed to the Torah fund. Thanks to your generosity, we can report that we are now over 80% of the way towards meeting our $250,000 funding objective. When the fund closes on December 31st, we will have fully settled all the costs of the Torah and will be in the fortunate position to allocate the remaining funds to both enhance and brighten our sacred space and boost Solel’s long-term endowment investment fund.

“L’dor V’Dor – From Generation to Generation, the Torah has been the legacy of the Jewish people. It guides our lives and unifies our voices. We raise it and read from it. debate it and embrace it. Live by it and die for it.” And now we will have the privilege to read and study from a scroll that was created specifically for our present and future Solel community. Our thanks to everyone who has been part of this project. We look forward to our celebrations on June 16th in the hope that this will be a profound and wonderful occasion for us all.

Please look out for future Solel communications which will provide further details.

Filed under: President's Message

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