In this year 2014, American Jews are completing a full circle, celebrating 360 years of Jewish life in America. In 1654 Asser Levy’s humble group of Jews arrived to America’s shores. Time in Jewish thought can be compared to a spiral and we are now at a special milestone 360 years later. Three hundred sixty degrees completes a circle. It’s now a unique time to view Jewish life in panorama. The center of it all is the Torah, our ancient living scroll that helps navigate the spiral of life, the common denominator that unifies the many facets of life. Despite geographic, ethnic and socioeconomic diversity, the Torah is a cherished and beloved treasure in every Jewish community. The Torah is our true life, our anchor, our core.
As we are now counting the days of the omer from Pesach Zeman Charusainu the holiday of our freedom to Shavuos, zeman Matan Torah when we receive the Torah. As the posuk says “When you take the people out of Egypt, you will serve [Hashem] upon this mountain.”
The entire purpose of going out of Egypt was to serve Hashem on this Mountain. True freedom is when we are guided by the laws of the Torah : in-sync with our true inner self. Freedom is not that you don’t have to work, Freedom is the work you do, is not against your will, rather in alignment with your true inner will. The Torah, G-d’s blueprint for life on earth, outlines the observances and practices that enable us realize our divine essence in our daily lives. So too the freedom that Jews have in America is only complete when the Torah is at it’s center. This is what the American Jewish Heritage Torah represents.
One Torah, One People
It is a Mitzvah for each Jewish person to help complete a Torah Scroll. Each letter in the Torah represents a Jewish soul, and a completed Torah completes Jewish Unity. When we complete a Torah we celebrate by dancing in circles, Hakafot, celebrating the continuity of Jewish Life. With the Torah at our center we proclaim: “Am Yisroel Chai”, the everlasting statement that the Jewish nation lives on. May this Torah be a living testament to American Jews both past and present.
The Jewish Heritage Torah will be completed at a dedication celebration at Chabad of Clifton Park, NY, directed by Shluchim Yossi and Leah Rubin, on Lag Baomer – May 18th.
Mr. Bruce Lorence, a friend of Clifton Park Chabad is dedicating this American Jewish Heritage Torah in memory of his American Jewish relatives: Poetess Emma Lazarus, Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo, Robert Goralski, NBC White House Correspondent and Art Buchwald syndicated columnist and humorist.
You can also dedicate a letter L’zechus Menachem Mendel ben Menucha Rochel, a young 2 year old boy for a complete and speedy Refuah Shelaima.
Join in dedicating letters at www.americanjewishtorah.com