A New Sefer Torah in Napierville

New Sefer Totah

During the Shabbos meal, Rabbi Dahan told the Bochurim that Rabbi Dovid Cohen will be coming with a guest to check out the Yeshiva to see if he should donate a Sefer Torah. With great excitement, right after Shabbos, we all set to organize the Yeshiva and setting it up to make the best impression possible.

True to his word, Rabbi Cohen came at around Mincha time with his guest. They Davenned with us and joined us for lunch. Rabbi Cohen said a few words about Torah and then our guest told us of his new name Torah'R'Us. He told us, that besides the Sefer Torah, that we will hopefully get soon, he also brought us some Chanuka presents. He then set boxes of chocolate bars and chocolate coins around the table. After that, he told us: "We have a very special job to light up the world and we do this on Chanuka, when we light up Chanuka candles at the windows and doors. In order to this Mitzva in the best possible way, I will give you all Menoras with oil, candles and wicks". He then proceeded around the table, giving everyone a handshake and a Menora.

We were trying to find words of thanks when everything came to a climax; someone suddenly came in holding a beautiful Sefer Torah. It was dressed magnificently with a Maroon colored Mantel, decorated with gold and silver designs, and a silver Yad. At first, we did not know how to react. We did not believe our eyes. We knew that he was thinking of donating a Sefer Torah, but no one expected it so quickly. After a split second of shock, we all stood up and started dancing joyfully. We took out the other Sefer Torah from the Aron HaKodesh. As the joy in the room intensified, the dancing got stronger and stronger, until it felt like Hakafos on Simchas Torah. The dancing continued for quite a while until we had to go back to class.

Dancing with the Torah

The next day, everyone was excited to see who would be getting the first Aliya of the new Sefer Torah. During Hagba (when we lift the open Torah), everyone was able to see the beautifully hand written black letters against the yellow parchment. As soon as they finished dressing the Torah, we again started dancing for a very long time.

From that day, there is always a special feeling when we take out our present, OUR Torah!

A Chanukah to Remember

There was a great excitement in Or Menachem; Chanukah was around the corner. Everyone was busy. Some people were writing the script, others were practicing their parts and a few boys were making very original costumes consisting of typical household items (broom sticks, staples, cardboard and lots of silver foil). The rest of us were constructing a giant menorah to put at on Highway 15 by exit 21. Everyone was rushing so all the projects would be ready for Chanukah.

Thank G-d, when Chanukah came everything was done and we were ready to light the menorah and watch it burn. Finally, the moment we were all waiting arrived. We all climbed into the vans with a lifetime supply of doughnuts generously donated by Or Menachem’s kitchen and we were off.

Chanukah Play

The first stop was at a very nice house which had a big Chanukah party. We were secretly led through the back of the house in order to surprise everyone. It didn’t really work out that way because it was Chanukah and we felt that we should start dancing right away. After couple of minutes of dancing, we finally set everything up. We started our play, it was a very original play that captivated our audience with the funny script and complicated acrobatic fight scene. When the play was over, we continued to dance for a little bit and then we enjoyed a very lavish Chanukah meal. When it was time to go the host said a few words of thanks and gave us all a very generous Chanukah gelt of $20.

On Motzei Shabbos we all went back to the van. Armed with enough menorahs and dreidels to supply the whole Canadian Jewish community, we made our way to Cote S. Luc on Mivtzoim. We soon arrived at a big apartment complex. There we split up into groups and went from door to door teaching people how to spin the dreidel.

On Sunday night, we again got back into the car and arrived at a very modern looking house. Again, we did our play and had a Chanukah party with a lot of food, drinks and dancing. The host challenged everyone to a dreidel game, only he had very unusual rules; you can never loose. If you get a Gimmel he gives you $20, if you get a Hay you get $10 and if you get a Nun or Shin you get $5. After that we made our way to one more house where we did our play for a family and their friends.

This was an unforgettable Chanukah that I will truly remember!