A New Sefer Torah Made for Children with Disabilities.
On May 26, in a festive and moving ceremony at the Hod VeHadar Masorti congregation in Kfar Saba, the Masorti Movement celebrated the arrival of a new Sefer Torah. But this was not any Hachnasat Sefer Torah: the ceremony marked the dedication of a small Torah scroll that is a bit less than twelve inches in width. Why did the Masorti Movement write a small Sefer Torah and for whom? This Torah scroll was created for children with disabilities.
Train a child according to his way…
During Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies, one of the honors given out to both the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child and their family members is dancing with the Torah scroll in the synagogue. In many ceremonies that are celebrated in our congregations, this dance is one of the highlights of the celebration. Unfortunately, when it comes to participants in the ADRABA program for children with special needs, this is often impossible if the Torah is too large and heavy for them to hold, let alone to dance with.
A very talented Torah scribe got to work, and for the duration of this past year the small Torah scroll was written. To make this project meaningful to as many as possible, the scribe traveled with the parchments to the different schools where the Bar/Bat Mitzvah program takes place to teach, explain, and to share the writing with the students.
Last Friday, together with the scribe, the students, their family members, congregants and other guests wrote the last words of the new Torah scroll.
We are deeply grateful to the Lowy and the Bieler (Gloria is on the Masorti Foundation Board) families who through their generous support enabled this special project. It is our belief that every Jew should have the opportunity and access to participate and celebrate every aspect of Jewish life, including holding and dancing with a Sefer Torah.