In the aftermath of the tragic passing of Leiby Kletzky A”H, the decision was made in Melbourne, to write a Sefer Torah in Leiby’s memory. However unlike most Torah scrolls written, this Torah would be unique: the funds would be raised primarily through children, learning Torah and doing special mitzvahs, and would be used by children on a regular basis.
After the decision was made to write a Sefer Torah that would be housed in the youth Minyan, with blessings from the Kletsky family, preparations were underway.
The first letters of the Sefer Torah were inscribed at a special children’s rally on Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av 5772, July 2011.
Melbourne’s Jewish youth were extremely enthusiastic to do something positive in the memory of Leiby, and put their heart and soul into making this Torah a reality. B”H through the many hours spent in Learn-a-thons, Mitzvah-thons, and fundraising our youth, with the help of the community have successfully helped to raise the funds necessary to complete the Sefer Torah.
On a recent trip to New York, Rabbi Menachem Lipskier was privileged to visit with the Kletzky family, and show them photos of the campaigns and fundraising events. The Kletzky family were extremely touched to hear that the Melbourne community cared so much and were going to such lengths to honour their son’s memory.
On Sunday, 19th of Cheshvan – 4th November, the Melbourne community gathered to commemorate the memory of Leiby Kletsky a”h, marked by the dedication of the long awaited new children’s Torah. Under the watchful eyes of hundreds of children, the last letters of the unique Torah were inscribed onto the parchment. The exclusive honours of Hagbeh and Glila were given to the two boys who raised the most money for the Torah.
Along with musical accompaniment, the children marched proudly with special flags and flaming torches. Over 500 men, women and children from the Jewish community participated in the celebration! Many received the honour to hold the extraordinary Torah.
Following the procession, lively childrens’ hakofot began in the Chabad Youth building. Embroidered alef-beis letters on the mantle of the Torah are pictured flying up to heaven, depicting the importance children and the superior effect their prayers have.
The event continued with a gala seudah. The crowd heard from the Rabbi of Yeshivah Centre, Rabbi Telsner, who inspired all present with his words. Rabbi Menachem Lipskier outlined the events leading up to the writing of the Torah and emphasised the tremendous work invested by the youth to turn the Torah from a dream to reality.
As a representative of the children involved in raising money for the Torah, Shmuel Yosef Greenbaum gave a personal account of the incredible devotion of the youth. A highlight of the dinner was the appearance of the Chabad Youth Boys’ Choir, which was grandly applauded by all.
The Siyum Sefer Torah marked the depth of fellow feeling felt by Jews for each other the world over. Transforming darkness to the light of simcha and celebration, was a task so appropriate for the powerful youth in Melbourne- the awesome kids of down unda’ who are sure to bring Moshiach now!