Torah Scroll Solemnly Brought In Minsk Jew Community (photoreport)
A solemn bringing in of a Torah scroll took place in Beis Isroel (The House of Israel) Jew community. For more than 100 years such ceremonies were not conducted in Minsk. And now it is already the second one for the past 3 months. The sponsor of the Torah scroll was Alexander Valachinsky, the native of Belarus living in Moscow. Approximate cost of such scroll is about 150 000 $.
According to the community’s rabbi Michael Gohberg, a Torah is a handwritten book with several letters left in the end written in italics. The respectable men, the members of a community, have an honourable right to write one letter in the scroll personally or with the help of a scribe. It is connected with a Talmud legend according to which every man must have its own Torah. He can order it to a scribe or copy the whole Torah himself, but it is thought through the adding one letter has symbolically fulfilled the testament. The ceremony of the scroll’s completion is called Siyum Torah.
By the invitation of the community’s chairman David Starobisky the famous Jews from Belarus and other countries attended the ceremony: Paul Yakubovich, Joseph Cobson, Keonid Daineko, Clara Novikova, Leonid Kanevsky. The holiday was also attended by the honourable guests from Israel who periodically visit Minsk to educate Belarusian Jews.
After the last man had added a letter into the scroll a festivity began with national dances and singing.
Photos by Paval Hadzinski
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