This story was submitted to Patch by the Chabad of Hewlett. It has been edited by Patch.
An enthusiastic crowd of families on Sunday celebrated the completion of a new “Hewlett Sefer Torah” at the Chabad of Hewlett.
Beginning a little after noon, music, food and drink, dancing, and expressions of "mazel tov" set the scene for the happy occasion. Dozens of children participated in the celebration as well, with special crafts and activities.
“We always talk about the ‘joy of Torah’, but on Sunday we actually felt the joy as a community,” said Rabbi Nochem Tenenbaum, who presided over the event. “My wife Rivke and I were overwhelmed with the love and support we witnessed that day. This is truly an historic day for Chabad of Hewlett and for the Hewlett community.”
Dancing spilled out onto the street, as the celebration continued into the afternoon. Fourth Precinct Auxiliary Police assisted by closing Railroad Avenue for some time.
“There was such of feeling of unity among those of us that attended,” said Jeffrey Lane of Hewlett. “I met so many families from the area and we all knew we were there to be together for each other.”
Residents had the opportunity, with the help of a “sofer” (scribe), to write the finishing letters of the new Torah that was dedicated by the Greenfeld and Assis families to the Chabad of Hewlett. The Narkis family presented an elegant silver “keter,” or crown, for the Torah.
Many families and individuals took the opportunity to dedicate Hebrew letters, words, Torah sections, or chapters in honor of their children or in remembrance of parents, or just in honor of Chabad of Hewlett.
"I marked the occasion by dedicating one of the weekly sections,” Lane said. “My son Victor will read this section at his Bar Mitzvah two years from now. I am hoping we will celebrate that event with our family and friends by reading from this very Torah that we had a hand in completing today.”
While the adults enjoyed great food, l'chaim and dancing, the kids’ room was full with busy children. They had their own exciting program, which included "build a Torah," decorating their own unique flag for dancing, getting their name written on authentic parchment with feather and ink by a scribe, and a special presentation on the making of parchment, ink and quill.
The celebration will continue this Saturday with "Hakfot" dancing and a Big Kiddush-lunch in honor of the first reading from the new Torah. All are welcome to join the celebration on Shabbos at 10 a.m. at 31 Franklin Ave. For more information and dedication opportunities, visit www.jewishhewlett.com or call 516-537-8770