by Yamit Glasman
This past Monday, Young Yeshivah of Melbourne, Australia was fortunate to inaugurate its very own Sefer Torah, generously donated by Mr. and Mrs. Harry (Zvi) Raitman in honor of their parents and also in honor of Harry’s 90th birthday.
The celebration began a day earlier with letter writing at the home of Dan and Perele Goldhirsch. Many Young-Yeshivah families utilized the opportunity to buy letters in the Torah which was meticulously completed by resident Sofer Rabbi Eli Gutnick. This was followed by another letter writing at the Raitman home for family and friends.
Monday morning dawned, but not bright and sunny. With some morning showers tapering, the sky looked ominous and threatening. However, nothing could dampen the spirits of those attending. Everyone admired the larger-than-life enthusiasm of Young Yeshivah members which apparently rubbed off even on the weather as the sun finally came out to shine.
Cleverly scheduled on ‘Straya Day’ (Australia Day), the abundant turnout elatedly accompanied the Torah on a scenic and circular route which Rabbi Shmuel Lesches later related to the week’s Parsha, where the Jews also took a circular route when wandering through the desert for forty years. After winding around the block to the Yeshivah campus, the festivities and Hakafos continued exuberantly in the main Shule.
At the celebration’s conclusion, the adults were treated to a delicious buffet whilst the children thoroughly enjoyed their lolly bags, fairy floss and popcorn. Children of the Raitman’s spoke lovingly about their parents and grandparents, as well as the auspicious timing of the celebrations, celebrated during the week of Yud Shevat.
Large segments of the community came to celebrate the milestone of Young Yeshivah’s first Sefer Torah, acknowledging its growth and development to date. It was so beautiful to witness the participation of the extended community, including Chabad-Youth day camps, Yeshivah-Gedolah bochurim as well as rabbis in attendance from all around the city.
Special thanks to the Raitman family for their unbelievable generosity. Yasher Koach to Rabbi Shmuel Lesches, Rabbi Eli Gutnick, the Young Yeshivah committee and the team at Yeshivah Centre Foundation for organising and coordinating such a wonderful event.