Cars slowed to a halt at Texas Avenue and University Drive, one of College Station’s busiest intersections, as hundreds escorted a Torah scroll carried under a chuppah canopy to the lively beat of Jewish music this past Sunday. Drivers rolled down their windows capturing the curious scene on their cellphone cameras as the procession made its way to the Rohr Chabad Jewish Student & Community Center at Texas A&M University.
Only three years old, the Chabad center had been using a Torah on loan since it opened in 2007. The new Torah, a gift from the Sandra Brand Torah Project, represents a meaningful milestone for this dynamic Jewish student organization.
“We are humbled by all the people who joined us for this historic occasion,” said Rabbi Yossi Lazaroff, Director of the Rohr Chabad Jewish Student & Community Center.
“The Torah, the common bond of the Jewish people, has kept us as a nation for thousands of years and will bring that special connection to College Station.”
The new Torah was escorted through College Station carried aloft by local physician, Dr. Keith Paull who led the way. Members of Sigma Alpha Mu, the only Jewish Fraternity at Texas A&M University followed, taking turns marching with the Torah.
Following the traditional hakafot dancing, the participants enjoyed a ceremonial meal commemorating the mitzvah of writing a Torah scroll, and obtained their own letters in the Torah.
The Chabad center, situated across the street on the northeast side of the campus, offers Jewish students a warm home, a full range of educational and social programs, and inspiring Shabbat dinners hosted by Rabbi and Mrs. Lazaroff.
Sara Miller-Moe, a professional quilt maker made the curtain for the Ark, driving three hours from Dallas to participate. “I was honored to be able to give back to Chabad after all they have done for my daughter.”
The Torah was installed in the Ark—donated by Mr. Raphael Altman of Houston in memory of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, the slain Chabad emissaries to Mumbai, India.
“It was a proud moment,” Rabbi Lazaroff told lubavitch.com. Especially for Aggies and their parents.
“I don’t think anyone has participated in an event like this here before.”
For more information www.JewishAggies.com