April 22, 2024
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Yeshivat Noam Hosts Migdal Ohr Sofer to Write 50th Anniversary Sefer Torah

 

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Most of us are accustomed to the process of completing a sefer Torah, together with the celebration and escorting of the sefer Torah to its new home. Ahead of time, people come to sit with the sofer and quill the final letters of the scroll, making it complete and suitable for use.

Last week, however, the middle school students at Yeshivat Noam had the privilege and unique opportunity to witness and participate in the very beginning of writing a new sefer Torah!

Rabbi Asher Levinger, sofer S’TAM, a graduate of Migdal Ohr, came all the way from Israel to start the writing of a 50th anniversary sefer Torah for Migdal Ohr. This special Torah scroll will serve as a traveling Torah for several institutions across Israel and for towns in the north that lack a sefer Torah. Migdal Ohr benefits orphaned and underprivileged children, providing their educational, social and other needs. Some are familiar with the stories of Rabbi Grossman, founder of Migdal Ohr, and also referred to as “the disco Rabbi.” He was known for entering the discos in the area on Shabbat. He would visit with the youth inside, introducing them to the values of Torah and mitzvot, and taking them under his wings at Migdal Ohr.

Rabbi Levinger related his personal story to the students in Hebrew, assisted in translation by Mickey Flaumenhaft, representing Migdal Ohr and now a resident of Teaneck. Rabbi Levinger shared his story of experiencing a difficult youth, starting off in a challenging home with multiple struggles. At the age of 11, similar to or younger than the age of the middle school students at Yeshivat Noam, Rabbi Levinger entered Migdal Ohr, which transformed his life. He served in the IDF, became an ordained rabbi, a sofer, has a degree in education, sits on the council of his yishuv, and built a strong community in Israel of over 100 members.

Rabbi Yitzchok Motechin, principal of the middle school, gave a brief shiur before introducing Rabbi Levinger, to explain about the process of how a sefer Torah is written and assembled. He also defined the term “sofer S’TAM,” as “sifrei Torah, tefillin and mezuzah,” to clarify what the acronym means. Rabbi Motechin explained that the last mitzvah of the Torah is to write for oneself a sefer Torah, both for the sake of the mitzvah itself, as well as actually using it to learn Torah. Nowadays, he explained, this part of the mitzvah can also be fulfilled via bound Torah seforim.

Following Rabbi Levinger’s address some of the students and staff had the opportunity to not only observe Rabbi Levinger at work writing a sefer Torah, but were also able to actually sit alongside Rabbi Levinger as he inscribed their own letter in the sefer Torah.

The students were excited to participate in fulfilling this important mitzvah, and especially so was Sammy Haberman, on the occasion of his bar mitzvah in a few weeks. The Habermans, who have been involved with Migdal Ohr for a very long time, will be traveling to Migdal Ohr so they can celebrate Sammy’s bar mitzvah together with the students of Migdal Ohr and Rabbi Levinger.

The sefer Torah is being dedicated in memory of Sammy’s grandfathers: HaRav Yaakov ben Alexander, a”h and HaRav Shmuel Tzvi ben Yosef Halevi, a”h. Sammy had also joined his good friend Judah Suss and family when they traveled to Migdal Ohr recently for Judah’s bar mitzvah, preparing care packages for the children of Migdal Ohr as part of the celebration.

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