In America parades are a big hit, whether it’s the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, the Yankees ticker tape parade or Long Beach’s Memorial Day parade. But who’s heard of a Torah parade?
Yep, you heard that right. The streets of Long Beach came alive, reverberating with the sounds of singing and rejoicing last Sunday, May 16, as a new Torah scroll from Israel was dedicated to the BACH Jewish Center by the Neumark family. In honor if this event, the new Torah Scroll was led in a parade-style procession on the boardwalk at the Allegria Hotel & Spa to the holy Ark at the BACH on Edwards Boulevard.
The writing of the final letters of the new Torah was an emotional moment for everyone involved at the celebration. "The idea that this is the word of God becoming real, when the pen hits the paper, it's like heaven touching earth," said Rabbi Eli Goodman, BACH educational director. "We take a physical piece of parchment and make it divine."
Led by a Torah Truck, with a live band in tow, the new Torah was the “grand marshal” of the parade and led crowds of hundreds of men, women and children who danced around it in the procession. Many rabbis, distinguished community leaders, along with friends and guests were present and were given the honor of carrying the Torah scroll along the route.
"This is so educational and so much fun for my children," said resident Rena David. "My children never really get to be involved in hands-on Judaic programs of this caliber, for them, this is a total eye-opener."
While publishers can knock out millions of copies of books with dozens of new titles a week, crafting a single Torah scroll takes over a year to complete. Timeless dictums hold for a certified Torah scribe to hand write the Torah, and everything from the character of the scribe to the quality of the parchment and type of ink are taken into account. Furthermore, each of the 304,808 letters and notation must be scripted to perfection. The slightest error voids the entire 54-portion parchment.
For more information about the BACH’s programs call 897-2473 or visit the website www.BachYouth.com.