THE YEAR OF TORAH:
A CELEBRATION OF THE TREE OF LIFE
Torah is the foundation of our spiritual life and contains the essential stories of our people. TBE has four Torah scrolls that require specialized repair that can only be done by a sofer, a Torah scribe. On three occasions throughout the coming year, we will have a sofer on-site, allowing us the opportunity to experience this fascinating work as well as giving us a springboard to the rich variety of ways we experience Torah in our community. The Year of Torah at Temple Beth Emeth will be rooted in the practical aspects of scroll repair and will unfold each month to reveal the many ways that Torah enriches our lives in learning, in stories, in music, in celebration.
More importantly, here also is an opportunity for us to consider the place of Torah in our lives. As Jews it is our honor and our responsibility to maintain the Torah scrolls, preserving ancient stories for future generations. Tradition has it that the final mitzvah of the 613 in the Torah is the obligation for every Jew to write a Torah scroll. By taking part in the restoration effort this year, as the scrolls are returned to wholeness, you will take part in a symbolic act that resonates with this mitzvah.
Our Spiritual Life Fund
Contributions to the Temple’s Spiritual Life Fund will be used to compensate the sofer for his services and will ensure we are able to properly maintain our scrolls through the coming years. Towards that end, in addition to his restoration work, the sofer will train a small group to carry out monthly inspections of the scrolls and to do routine cleaning. Donations beyond the amount required for the Torah restoration will be used for responsible stewardship of our many ritual objects and for practices that enrich and support our religious services and spiritual life.
Consider what your gift to our Spiritual Life Fund will mean: you will be a guardian of past traditions by ensuring that resources for Jewish life remain available to our community decade after decade. A major financial goal of the Year of Torah is to help move TBE to more sustainable patterns of funding through multi-year commitments, endowments, and legacy gifts. In the months ahead, committee members will be providing information about ways you can help this effort financially and otherwise.
Gifting opportunities during the Year of Torah will make concrete the special meaning the Torah has for each of us. Please look at the pledge sheet for the specifics of sponsorship. Some will choose to sponsor a weekly portion in recognition of a bar or bat mitzvah; others will choose to sponsor a special holiday reading; and still others will be inspired to support the restoration of one of the five books or even an entire scroll. We all are invited to become shomrim, guardians of our inheritance.
The more Torah, the more life; the more study, the more wisdom; the more charity, the more peace.
The Year of Torah Advisory Group has finished writing an application form for those interested in applying for Year of Torah funds for projects that will enhance the spiritual life of TBE. Applications will be accepted throughout the next several years as they are completed. The Advisory Group will work with applicants to ensure that their applications are ready to be sent to the TBE board for evaluation.
Click here to see the Year of Torah video.