(Courtesy of Bais Menachem) Hundreds turned out this past Sunday, defying the odds of dire weather predictions, in celebrating and welcoming a new sefer Torah to Bais Menachem of Teaneck. The event took place in the last moments left of the “once-in-every-seven-years 5783 Hakhel Year,” which marks the mitzvah of the gathering of the Jewish people in the ancient Holy Temple to hear words of inspiration of the Torah and also encouraged in modern times by the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
Windsor Road was shut down for this momentous event, as man, woman and child, community-wide, danced in the streets to miraculously good weather for the entire event. It culminated with the customary hakafot ceremony back in the shul, with a festive meal provided by the local Heimish Food & Catering, along with many kid-friendly refreshments and activities.
The Torah was generously donated by Jordan and Michelle Wachtel and Jessica and Nochum Dusowitz on behalf of the Boteach, Wachtel and Diveroli families in memory of their grandmother; Eleanor Paul, z”l (Esther Elka Bas Efraim) and in honor of all of her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who continue her legacy.
Eleanor’s granddaughters Mushki Naparstek and Shterny Glick, both founding members of Bais Menachem, inspired the crowd with their grandmother’s touching story of coming to Miami Beach as a divorced mother and working three jobs to support her five young children. She often recalled how the community wouldn’t invite her for Shabbos meals, being completely insensitive to her situation.
Although she did not always have an easy life, Eleanor was one to always look at the positive. For the next 50 years, she hosted about 50 people every single Friday night. People from all walks of life, no matter their background, were always welcome at Eleanor’s table. This legacy of hospitality was passed down to her children and grandchildren, who emulate her love of Torah, kindness and the Jewish people. Bais Menachem now proudly hosts her Torah and ideals in always warmly welcoming everyone to its shul community.
The local community was also able to share in the Torah’s dedication by sponsoring a letter, pasuk or parsha.
Bais Menachem thanks everyone who participated in any and every way of this great celebration, with a special thanks to the Chaverim of Bergen County and Teaneck Police Department, who were onsite to help coordinate the event and keep everyone safe.
A beautiful way to usher in the imminent Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah 5784, and a K’tiva V’chatima Tova, L’Shana Tova u’Mesukah to all!