Yom Shlishi, 14 Heshvan 5780
Tuesday, 12 November 2019
Northwood parade new lightweight Sefer Torah

nortwood_scrollMore than 250 members of Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS) paraded their new lightweight Sefer Torah through the streets, after a moving ceremony.

The service began with members of NPLS guiding the quill of sofer, Bernard Benarroch, as he completed the final words.

Rabbi Lea Muhlstein explained the moment, saying: "It was truly momentous as each of us - the young, the old, men and women - were given the opportunity to guide the scribe's hand in writing the final letters of the Torah, we were stirred by emotions. “It was not simply the physical act of writing but the spiritual dimension of what it means to complete a Torah that made this moment so special and emotional."

The community then danced and marched out into the streets of Northwood, heading to Green Lane car park where a tree had grown from a seed from a tree planted at Tereisenstadt Deportation Camp in 1943 by a courageous teacher and her pupils.

NPLS Emeritus Rabbi and President of Liberal Judaism, Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein reflected on the lives and tragic deaths of the Jews of Czech and Slovak towns that had once owned the scrolls now residing in Northwood.

He said: “We are the custodians of their scrolls and the legacy of the Jews who once read from them. Let us live, remember and treasure the confidence we have as Jews living in Northwood.”

The community then recited Kaddish together before returning to the synagogue to conclude the rituals in prayer and song, led by the members choir, a cappela group and numerous guitarists.

The importance of the new Sefer Torah being lightweight was highlighted by a recent batmitzvah girl who, when dancing with the scroll, stated: "I always knew this was my community and now I know that this is my scroll as I helped to pay for it and now I can actually carry it!”