So, before I sign off for shabbat, I had a little something I wanted to share with you! Bear with me, this may be a long and winding post…
Tonight the boys and I were watching a cartoon about the life of Rashi (one of the greatest Jewish commentators of all time). One of the beginning scenes he is discussing purchasing an ink from another Jew that dries faster (for his volumes of commentary he was writing) and it reminded me of a moment the Father and I had at synagogue a few weeks back…
The shachrit (morning prayer) service that day was especially anointed, you could feel the Presence of Hashem heavy, and the spirit was moving…so I was really curious what He was going to say to me, or to us. So, when the Rabbi got up to do his sermon, I was leaned forward, ready to receive and…as soon as it started it stopped! It was the shortest sermon I have ever heard in my whole life. The current Rabbi is leaving at the end of the month, and he just seems weary. It is probably very hard on him to have his wife and children moved out of state while he stays back to wrap up things.
Not one to worry (too much), I thought to myself “His presences is enough, even if He doesn’t speak!” And just before we dismissed for oneg (Pronounced OH-neg and is a light lunch after the Torah service in most synagogues) one of the Board Members stood up and announced that the Board had authorized a sofer from Brooklyn to come and inspect the Torah scrolls and that he recommended we make a few minor repairs to the Sephardic scrolls, and that this would be completed before the High Holy Days in the fall. He also mentioned that there was a full set of Ashkenazi scrolls that go unused most of the time. The sofer recommended we take each one out periodically and open it to a page, leave it open for 20 mins or so, and then put it away to air it out, “I mean ideally we would open it to read it” he said, to which the whole room giggled.
He went on to describe the construction of the Torah scroll, and how it is an animal product and that the ink, if not allowed to breath, will begin to disintegrate, and peel away from the scroll, leaving blank pages over time.
And that is when the Father spoke. He said, “I created the people to need to study Torah, it is like water to their dry parched souls. But I also created the Torah to need to be read, if we don’t use it, it disappears.”
There is something very profound and deep about the fact that the Torah is written on an animal product; parchment. Why? Because Torah; the laws, statues and commands; when studied properly disciplines our animal instincts. Our souls, much like the scroll, need to have a constant exposure to the air (spirit) in order to retain the letter of the law on our hearts. And if we don’t use it (as in apply the Torah to our lives) it disappears.
I hope this post was worth your time, sorry it was so long winded! Please pray, I am really hoping they look for volunteers to come and read those scrolls outside of shabbat services to keep them fresh…that sounds like the perfect volunteer position for me!
And for a few more tidbits and fun facts about the Torah scrolls, I have included a link to a chabad article…
I am praying your study of Torah this week is Ruach breathed 🙂 Shabbat shalom!