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Special Light Torah dedicated to Aishel House will give great boost to medical patients

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More than 100 people gathered at the home of Allan and Joyce Camhi on Sunday August 28 for a special 8-inch high scroll Siyum Torah.

The small size of the Torah will allow patients at Aishel House, who may not be able to carry a full-size Torah, to participate in services.

Joyce Camhi said her family promised the scroll to Aishel House five years ago. The dedication coincided with their son Yaakov Abraham’s Bar Mitzvah last weekend.

To create a Torah small and light enough for even severely debilitated patients to hold, a scribe with special skills had to be found.

Rabbi Y. Peretz has been inscribing the sacred words on parchment for a year.

New York scribe Moshe Klein helped Aishel House members complete the final Torah letters.

Rabbi Lazer Lazaroff, co-director with his wife Rochel of Aishel House Bikur Cholim Center at Texas Medical Center, addressed the crowd.

“Before the scroll is completed, it does not yet have the sanctity of a Torah scroll. As we complete the last letter and are present for the birth of the new Torah, we welcome a new holiness into the world, uniting us with each other and with G‑d,” Rabbi Lazaroff said.

See all JHV photos by Daniel Bissonnet

A procession, including Rabbi Shimon Lazaroff, director of Chabad’s regional headquarters in Texas, marched the new scroll to Aishel’s nearby house, where even more guests greeted the arrival of the Torah.

The existing Torahs were removed and joined the new scroll for joyous hakafot and chanting. All the Torahs were placed in the Ark before a festive meal was served.

Rabbi Peretz Lazaroff helped organize the event and spoke with the JHV about the symbolism of completing a Torah scroll.

“Every letter has its place in the Torah,” said Rabbi Peretz Lazaroff. “If a letter is missing, the Torah is missing.

“Each letter of the Torah is associated with each Jewish person. If a Jew is missing, the whole community is missing. And so, the completion of the Torah really highlights the importance of each individual Jew.

The story of how this Torah got to Aishel House began over 10 years ago when a 12-year-old Argentine boy’s planned trip to Israel for his Bar Mitzvah was suddenly redirected to Texas Medical Center. after his mother was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. .

Rabbi Lazer Lazaroff and Rochel immediately realized the importance of meeting the needs of this family.

“We will do the Bar Mitzvah,” he said.

The service took place in the youngster’s mother’s hospital room.

Allan Camhi remembers that time well.

“When I saw how difficult it was to carry the Torah, I realized that House Aishel needed a sefer Torah that reflected the mission: to be accessible to all Jews, especially those weakened by sickness.” he said.

A pivotal event at Aishel House a few years ago during Simchat Torah began the work of turning the dream into reality.

Salo Vedid, a fragile young patient of the Aishel household, could only watch the others dance with the Torah. He was too weak to participate.

Then he said “I want to hold one too.”

The young man could not hold the scroll alone. Allan Camhi and Rabbi Lazer Lazaroff brought together several men who helped the patient participate in the mitzvah.

Camhi said that as he watched the men help the patient hold the Torah and move through the bimah, he made a promise. “My wife, Joyce, and I will be bringing an accessible Torah sefer to Aishel House.”

Vedid was at the joyful dedication of the new Torah scroll and participated, along with other guests, in the hakafot.

See all JHV photos by Daniel Bissonnet