On Sunday afternoon, February 4th, about 45 people gathered to witness the completion of a new Torah scroll being gifted to Congregation T’Chiyah, located just outside Detroit, MI. Rabbi Levi Kagan, a local Sofer (scribe), publicly completed the last 75 letters of the scroll, each of which had been dedicated in honor or memory of a person or persons named by the individuals who went up to the Torah to witness its completion. T'chiyah members and guests were invited to participate in this ceremony in a very special way that will remain as a highlight of the congregation’s history.
After the ceremony, Rabbi Kagan gave an intriguing talk about the role of the Sofer in Judaism and all that goes into the writing of a Torah scroll. He also set up an exhibit of his work, complete with quills and parchment, for members and guests to try out. It was a moving ceremony, an enlightening afternoon, and a terrific celebration, which included a reception afterwards.
T’chiyah members were particularly pleased to host representatives from the Reconstructionist Congregation of Detroit and Reconstructionist congregation Kehillat Israel in Lansing, as well as other people from the community.
The new Torah was formally dedicated on Saturday, February 17th, at Shabbat services. A lovely service, attended by about 30 people, was co-led by Jane and Rick Miller and accompanied by the inspiring music of Henry and Susan Shevitz. Henry Shevitz was given the honor of reading from the new Torah for the first time.