Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Torah Falls in Modi'in

During the Simchat Torah dancing last Tuesday at the Zachor Avraham shul in Modi'in, a 12 year old boy stumbled and fell when a Sefer Torah was passed to him. The Torah slipped from his grasp and fell to the floor, causing the congregation to pose a question to Modi'in town rabbi, R' David Lau..."what do we do now?"

R' Lau stated that since the child who dropped the Torah was over the age of 10, this was not intentional, but and accident, and this is a "call for the community to gather and strengthen the holiness of the shul and Torah."

"It is a sign from heaven that the community should examine their actions, because they have surely sinned...and they should improve their actions."

Additionally, R' Lau stated that the men in the shul should fast this coming Thursday, to recite slichot prayers in shul, gather to learn, and accept upon themselves to try not to speak [idle conversation] during prayer and Torah reading."

"It saddens me that this occurred [to the child] of such a serious and responsible family, and it is a difficult feeling to dismiss. Despite this not being the child's fault, Jewish law specifically mandates that the community fast" (source in Hebrew, and accompanying letter from R' Lau, courtesy of Rafi G.)
Not that my community is any better than Modi'in, or that we talk in shul less than they do, but a few years ago, we were saved from a similar mishap -- the amazing Simchat Torah Save of the Day.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

4 comments:

shavuatov said...

Great post, Jameel! I also clicked through to your 'Amazing Save' link and enjoyed the tivo moment immensely.

My synagogue's Rabbi has the scroll totally unwound around the sanctuary - apparently much to the distress of some members when it was first done a few years ago. she has promised that if a mishap takes place, she will never request that the unwinding is done ever again.

So far, so good.

Rachel

Bozoer Rebbe said...

It saddens me that this occurred [to the child] of such a serious and responsible family, and it is a difficult feeling to dismiss.

Of course if this had happened to the child of a less distinguished family I suspect that R. Lau would not have been nearly so saddened and would have blamed the child and his bad family.

Michael Sedley said...

Loved the Hagba story that you linked to. Reminds me of a friend of mine who is not particularly religious but goes to shul regularly to daven that he wont get Hagba.

BTW - the guy who ran out of shul may not have saved his lunch if Chalila the Torah had fallen, look at the Psak From Rav Lau in Modi'in on you site, he says that it was a communal tragedy and all members of the shul should take part in the Tshuva process. He even encourages members of the Sfardi shul in the same building to join them.

Bli neder I'll address this Modi'in story in my next blogpost - I just need to find time to finish the post. Stay tuned.

jaime said...

Interesting - I just learned something new.

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