oregonlive.com/Photos by Julianne Claybaugh
Rabbi Menachem Rivkin welcomed families up one at a time. He offered a tiny shot of liquor for the men and a shout, “L’chaim — to life.”
This scene was repeated time and time again on Sunday as the congregation of Chabad Jewish Center of Hillsboro dedicated and celebrated the completion of the center’s first Torah scroll.
The Torah, which consists of the five books of the Hebrew Bible, was handwritten and took a year to produce, but the final letters and words were added Dec. 4, 2016 at Brookwood Elementary School with the help of Rabbi Yosef Teitelbaum. The Rabbi would do the actual writing and the family members coming up would hold on to his wrist as he wrote. Music blared in the background as the gym filled to about 200 people.
The final words of the Torah are about Moses. The final word is “Israel.”
After the last word was written, the Torah was held high, then wrapped up. People poured out of the gym, walked down Cedar Street, onto Brookwood Avenue and headed to the Jewish Center.
The crowd marched down the sidewalk with loud music and dancing all the way. Their arrival at the Jewish Center was followed by more music and circle dancing, with the Torah always in the middle.
The final ceremony was cutting the ribbon in front of the new building at the Jewish Center with the Rabbi Menachem Rivkin and mayor elect Steve Callaway on the front line. Then the Torah went into the synagogue and was placed at the altar as all the people rushed in.