Mini Mitzvah: Special light-weight Torah dedicated at Aishel House will give medical patients big boost – Jewish Herald-Voice

Posted By on September 4, 2022

More than 100 people gathered at the home of Allan and Joyce Camhi on Sunday, Aug. 28, for a Siyum Torah of a special 8-inch-tall scroll.

The Torahs small size will enable Aishel House patients, who may not be able to carry a full-size Torah, to take part in services.

Joyce Camhi said her family pledged the scroll to Aishel House five years ago. The dedication coincided with their son Yaakov Abrahams Bar Mitzvah last weekend.

Creating a Torah small and light enough for even severely weakened patients to hold required finding a scribe with special skills.

Rabbi Y. Peretz has been inscribing the sacred words on parchment for the last year.

Scribe Moshe Klein, from New York, assisted Aishel House members in completing the last letters of the Torah.

Rabbi Lazer Lazaroff, co-director with his wife, Rochel, of the Aishel House Bikur Cholim Center at the Texas Medical Center, addressed the crowd.

Before the scroll is complete, it does not yet have the sanctity of a Torah scroll. As we complete the last letter and we are present for the birth of the new Torah, we welcome a new holiness into the world, uniting us with one another and with G-d, Rabbi Lazaroff said.

See all the JHV's photos by Daniel Bissonnet

A procession, including Rabbi Shimon Lazaroff, director of Chabad Texas Regional Headquarters, marched the new scroll to nearby Aishel House, where even more guests welcomed the Torahs arrival.

The existing Torahs were removed and joined the new scroll for a joyous hakafot and singing. All the Torahs were placed in the Ark before a festive meal was served.

Rabbi Peretz Lazaroff helped organize the event and spoke with the JHV about the symbolism of completing a Torah scroll.

Each and every letter has a place in the Torah, Rabbi Peretz Lazaroff said. If one letter is missing, the Torah is lacking.

Each letter of the Torah is associated with each Jewish person. If one Jew is missing, then the entire community is lacking. And so, the completion of the Torah really highlights the significance of each individual Jew.

The story of how this Torah came to Aishel House began more than 10 years ago when a 12-year-old Argentinian boys planned trip to Israel for his Bar Mitzvah suddenly was redirected to the Texas Medical Center after his mother was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm.

Rabbi Lazer Lazaroff and Rochel immediately realized the importance of meeting this familys needs.

Well make the Bar Mitzvah, he said.

The service took place in the youngsters mothers hospital room.

Allan Camhi remembers those days well.

When I saw how difficult it was to transport the Torah, I realized that Aishel House needed a sefer Torah that reflects the mission: to be accessible to all Jews, especially those weakened by illness. he said.

A pivotal event at Aishel House a few years ago during Simchat Torah began the work of turning the dream into a reality.

Salo Vedid, a frail young patient at Aishel House, could only watch others dancing with the Torah. He was too weak to participate.

Then, he said I want to hold one, too.

The young man could not hold the scroll alone. Allan Camhi and Rabbi Lazer Lazaroff gathered together several men who helped the patient participate in the mitzvah.

Camhi said that while he watched the men helping the patient hold the Torah and move around the bimah, he made a pledge. My wife, Joyce, and I are going to bring an accessible sefer Torah to Aishel House.

Vedid was at the joyous dedication of the new Torah scroll and participated, along with other guests, in the hakafot.

See all the JHV's photos by Daniel Bissonnet

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Mini Mitzvah: Special light-weight Torah dedicated at Aishel House will give medical patients big boost - Jewish Herald-Voice

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