The excitement was in the air as the Yeshiva Gedolah of the Five Towns was about to complete the writing of the first sefer Torah that they could call their own. Thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Fine, the yeshiva would complete a beautiful sefer Torah written by Rabbi Yaakov Dermer, shlita, in Eretz Yisrael, l’iluy nishmas their grandson Mordechai ben R’ Chaim Dov Verschleisser, and Mrs. Fine’s late brother Mordechai Yechiel ben Yitzchok. There was a tent set up at the site of the new building which will become the permanent home of the sefer Torah in the near future, be’H. The tent was crowded on both sides of the mechitzah with friends of the Fines and of the yeshiva who came to share in this tremendous simcha. After the kesivas haosiyos to complete the sefer Torah, there were inspiring divrei Torah given by Rav Yitzchok Knobel, shlita, the rosh kollel, Rav Mordechai Dov Fine, shlita, a prominent rav in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Rav Moshe Zev Katzenstein, shlita, rosh hayeshiva.
Rav Knobel remarked how this sefer Torah represents a third generation of the Fine family with a presence in the yeshiva. Steve learns in the yeshiva daily, and Chaim Verschleisser, the Fine’s son-in-law and the father of Mordechai, a’h, learned in the yeshiva as well. Rav Knobel added that the yeshiva and its dedication to the understanding of Torah sheba’al peh is a perfect place for the sefer Torah, which is only understood through the limud of Torah sheba’al peh.
Rav Fine spoke about the mesiras nefesh of the previous generation to provide both Mr. and Mrs. Fine with a Torah education. He conveyed how they must be feeling now, seeing the generations of bnei Torah that have been produced. He imagined the simcha they would have felt, partnering in this special endeavor with this makom Torah.
Rav Katzenstein spoke about the uniqueness of the simcha of a hachnosas sefer Torah. He quoted Rav Ahron Leib Shteinman, shlita, who said that the simcha of a hachnosas sefer Torah is like no other simcha in that it is purely a simcha of ruchniyus, a simcha of receiving a new Torah to be your own. Rav Katzenstein explained that the significance of the route from the new building site to YGFT’s present storefront location is that the Torah can clear a path of all obstacles, as it did in the midbar.
Following the ceremony, the new sefer Torah was accompanied with music and dancing to the yeshiva’s present location. While it was raining outside, that in no way dampened the enthusiasm and simcha of the crowd. Amidst songs about the beauty and chashivus of Torah and learning, the sefer Torah was fittingly marched to its aron kodesh. Upon reaching the yeshiva parking lot, the other sifrei Torah were brought out to meet their new chavrusa. Beautiful dancing followed, in the place where the yeshiva holds its renowned Simchas Torah hakafos. All those present then ushered the sefer Torah to its place with song and accompanying tefillos. The beautiful event culminated with Minchah which included Al Hanissim. The hoda’ah that is part of Chanukah was especially felt by everyone in thanking Hashem for His kindness in giving the yeshiva the opportunity to have such a special benefactor, a special kehillah, and such a wonderful event.