Community's first Torah to be dedicated
Published 9:49 am, Saturday, September 22, 2012
The fulfillment of a 30-year dream will be celebrated on Sunday, Sept. 23, at a dedication ceremony for the community's first Torah.
The ceremony will take place at the New Canaan Nature Center. The writing and dedication of the Torah has been arranged by Chabad of New Canaan. The Torah celebration is open to the community and will include live music, educational crafts for children and dinner. There will be a traditional scribe at the event who will write the last words in the Torah, in fulfillment of ancient custom.
The Torah will be known as the Breslow/Kantsiper New Canaan Community Torah, since it was a 30-year dream by Aron Breslow, a native of New Canaan, in memory of his parents, Meyer (Mike) Breslow and Pearle Kantsiper Breslow.
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"This is a tremendous milestone for our community," said Rabbi Levi Mendelow, director of Chabad of New Canaan. "For thousands of years, the Torah has been the spiritual anchor of the Jewish people, and our Torah scrolls have been the most treasured possessions of every Jewish community. We are very excited for our community to receive our first Torah scroll."
A Torah scroll is the holiest book within Judaism, made up of the five books of Moses. The completion of the writing of a Torah is a remarkable achievement, since every letter in the Torah must be written by an expert scribe with a quill on parchment, in Hebrew. The sheets of parchment are then sewn together with sinews to form one long scroll. It took more than nine months to write the Breslow/Kantsiper Torah.
In 1980, Aron Breslow wrote a book, "Religion U.S.A.," which documents the diversity of religious life in America. The book included a collection of articles written by religious leaders in his hometown of New Canaan.
At the time, through community sponsorships for the book, funds were raised that helped form the basis of an organization called B'nai Torah (the children of the Torah). At that time, an attempt was made to establish a Jewish congregation in New Canaan, but for various reasons it never happened.
In 2010, however, Breslow heard that Chabad of New Canaan had been established by Levi and Michal Mendelow to provide local resources to the Jewish community in New Canaan. When he saw the growth of the community, he realized that the time had come to fulfill his dream.
In January, B'nai Torah provided the funding to Chabad of New Canaan to commission a new Torah for New Canaan.
For information, visit www.chabadnewcanaan.org or call 203-972-7708.