By COLlive reporter
A joyous tribute to one of the pioneers and builders of the Jewish community in Melbourne, Australia, was held in Jerusalem, Sunday.
A new Torah was completed and dedicated to Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Groner OBM, Chabad’s Head Shliach and Director of the Yeshivah Centre of Melbourne, on the 13th of Nissan.
The new Torah was commissioned by Australian philanthropist Joseph West who had a close relationship with the late Rabbi Groner and was one of the many that were personally influenced by his wisdom and warmth.
West donated the Torah to Machon Meir, one of Jerusalem’s largest Yeshivos known for its outreach to Jews from all walks of life. Former students of Rabbi Groner were in the large crowd that gathered for the writing of the final letters overseen by the communal sofer Rabbi Eli Gutnick.
The formalities started on the Friday prior to the event when Rabbi Gutnick brought the last sheet of the Torah to the Tel Aviv home of former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau who was given the honor to inscribe a letter.
Rabbi and Rabbanit Lau recalled with great fondness the long and friendly relationship they shared with Rabbi Groner, his vast knowledge in Torah and his heartfelt niggunim and chazanus.
The street parade on Sunday was followed by hakafos in the Beis Medrash of Machon Meir, and the event concluded with a festive seudas Mitzvah addressed by Rabbi Dovid Groner, nephew of Rabbi Groner OBM; Joseph West and Rabbi Eli Gutnick.
Machon Meir founder and Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Dov Begun said it was a big honor for Machon Meir to dedicate a sefer Torah in memory of Rabbi Groner.
He said Rabbi Groner dedicated his life to the furtherance of Jewish education and spreading the word of Torah, and so the dedication of a sefer Torah is indeed appropriate.
He also noted the extra significance of this occurring in Jerusalem, Rabbi Groner’s resting place and eternal capital of the Jewish people.