Yesterday, I attended the most wonderful event. The children in my neighborhood have been talking about it for weeks, eagerly anticipating the fun and excitement that they would have. The parents were just as ebullient, reminiscing about other experiences, exclaiming on the fixer-upper work done to the shul, and remarking on how special this event was.
What happened? It's quite simple. My next door neighbor, unbeknownst to most, quietly worked on a Sefer Torah himself. And, he finished it, just in time for Shavuos. Yesterday was the Hachnosat Sefer Torah.
And what a beautiful event it was. The 7-9 year olds, despite the fire hazard, carried torches that were almost as tall as they were. There was a truck with lights and sirens, men selling popcorn and cotton candy, and for those deemed too young (well, really young this time) to hold a torch, they received glowing light sticks to wave proudly.
Everyone gathered, whether they were from the shul or not, and came to honor the Torah and bring it to its new home. First, they had the writing of the last few letters of the Torah, which I was privileged to witness from my next-door apartment. And then, the Torah came out, to dancing and clapping.
We walked around the neighborhood, music blaring, and escorted the Torah to the caravan shul where it would rest proudly. NBD slept through some of it, although she woke up at the end, in time to see the other Torah scrolls come out proudly to greet their new counterpart.
My neighbor is not in Kollel (and that's not a bad thing)- but his Chashivus HaTorah- respect of the Torah- drove him to spend his time in a labor of love, writing a beautiful Torah in honor of Shavuos. It was such a special event- everyone gathering together, to show their honor and love.
And how unique is it- that this is what the children were getting excited about- a gathering to honor the Torah. This is excitement for them.
And truthfully, there couldn't be anything more exciting in the world.
16 hours ago