An enthusiastic crowd of hundreds of Hewlett families celebrated the completion of a new sefer Torah at the Chabad of Hewlett this Sunday, January 27. Beginning a little after noon, music, good food and drink, dancing, and expressions of “mazal tov” set the scene for the happy occasion. The day will be remembered for years to come by those who attended the special event. Dozens of children participated in the celebration as well, with special crafts and activities.
“There was such of feeling of unity among those of us that attended,” says Jeffrey Lane of Hewlett. “I met so many families from the area, and we all knew we were there to be together for each other.” Rabbi Nochem Tenenboim presided over the event, which included the opportunity, with the help of a sofer, to write the finishing letters of the new Torah that was dedicated by the Greenfeld and Assis families to the Chabad House of Hewlett.
“We always talk about the ‘joy of Torah,’” says Rabbi Tenenboim, “but on Sunday we actually felt the joy as a community.” Dancing spilled out onto the street, as the celebration continued into the afternoon. Nassau County Auxiliary Police assisted by closing off Railroad Avenue for some time. “My wife Rivke and I were overwhelmed with the love and support we witnessed that day. This is truly a historic day for Chabad of Hewlett and for the Hewlett community.” An elegant silver keter, crown, for the Torah was presented by the Narkis family.
Many families and individuals took the opportunity to dedicate Hebrew letters, words, Torah sections, or chapters in honor of their children or in remembrance of parents, or just in honor of Chabad of Hewlett. “I marked the occasion by dedicating one of the weekly sections,” says Lane. “My son Victor will read this section at his bar mitzvah in two years from now. I am hoping we will celebrate that event with our family and friends by reading from this very Torah that we had a hand in completing today!”
While the adults enjoyed with great food, l’chaim, and dancing, the kids’ room was full of busy children enjoying their own exciting program. They had the chance to “build a Torah,” decorate their own unique flag for dancing, get their name written on authentic parchment with feather and ink by a scribe, and view a special presentation on the making of parchment, ink, and quill. The children, too, felt a special part of the joy!
Families from different Jewish backgrounds celebrated together. “That’s what it’s all about,” says Rabbi Tenenboim. “We’re all Jews, and we all celebrate Torah.”
The celebration will continue this Shabbos with hakafot dancing and a big Kiddush in honor of the first Shabbat that Chabad will be reading from its new Torah! All are welcome to join the celebration; Shabbos 10:00 a.m. at Chabad of Hewlett, 31 Franklin Avenue. Chabad of Hewlett is an affiliate of Chabad of the Five Towns. For more information and for dedication opportunities, visit www.jewishhewlett.com or call 516-537-8770. v