By COLlive reporter
Photos: Yossi Percia
A celebration was held last week for a new Sefer Torah which was begun in Hevron, Israel, made a stop in Orlando, Florida, and was finally completed in Irvine, California.
The Torah was dedicated in honor of the upshernish – third birthday of Yosef Yisroel Schwartz son of Mr. Ory and Linda Schwartz of Irvine, California.
Ory and Linda Schwartz decided to commission a Torah after a visit to Hevron with their three daughters, and meeting Shluchim Rabbi Danny and Batsheva Cohen.
“Our connection to Hevron became even deeper after our second trip there with our son, whose birthday is during parshas Vayechi, when our forefather Yaakov was taken to the Mearas Hamachpela to be buried,” Linda Schwartz told COLlive.
After that trip, Schwartz explains, they called Rabbi Cohen and asked him to find a Sofer in the area to begin writing a Torah in honor of their children, to be dedicated at Yosef’s upshernish.
A short while later, Ory Schwartz’s father was diagnosed with cancer. As his health began to decline, North Irvine Shliach Rabbi Elly Andrusier suggested to Ory that he ask Rabbi Cohen to send the parchment to Ory’s father in Florida, so that he would merit to fulfill the 613th commandment.
Days later, Rabbi Cohen had accomplished this, and the parchment arrived in Orlando. With the help of a sofer from Miami, Ory’s father filled in a letter in the Torah. He passed away one week later.
Last week, the Torah was completed in an emotional and joyous celebration at the Schwartz home.
Irvine Shluchim Rabbi Alter and Binie Tenenbaum and Rabbi Elly and Gilah Andrusier took part in the celebration, as the Torah was marched to Chabad of Irvine with singing and dancing, followed by Yosef’s hair-cutting ceremony and party.
“We are so grateful to the Shluchim Rabbis Tenenbaum, Andrusier and Cohen for enabling us to include Ory’s father in our family Torah,” said Linda Schwartz.
Video: Levi Percia