Delivering Torahs to the 2020 Consecration Class
The Jewish Calendar continues uninterrupted during a pandemic. This fact has required our incredible team of clergy, staff, teachers and lay leaders to continually strategize and brainstorm on evolving ideas as to how to deliver innovative programs and classes to our families who continue to bring us into their homes. For Simchat Torah, was it possible to safely visit some of these families outside of their homes and share the joy of dancing with a Torah?
This past Sunday morning on Thanksgiving weekend, 3 groups of clergy and lay leaders did just that for the entire 2020 Consecration class. My husband Mark Goodman and I, with Rabbi Splansky and song leader Avishai Sol in their car, visited 10 students and their families. Our car had pre-packaged bags that held a baby Torah, a box with instructions as to how to make an Aron Kodesh and sweets like honey and a candy Torah, as well as a Holy Blossom Temple banner. Rabbi Splansky’s car had a full-size Torah and Avishai’s guitar.
I had no expectations as to what the impact of that morning would be on the children, their families or even me. Yes, I knew that we were doing a mitzvah, but I was there to support our students who could not be gathered together as a class and receive their baby Torahs as my children had in Grade 1. Mark drove, I navigated and called each family on our list (they were expecting us!) to let them know that the President of Holy Blossom Temple and Rabbi Splansky were en route to deliver their child’s Torah and for the whole family to meet us outside. The four of us were masked as were most families. I laid the Holy Blossom Temple banner against a tree or bush, the bag was left in front of the banner for the child to open, Rabbi Splansky danced with her Torah on each child’s lawn and Avishai played his guitar while we sang along with him. What a joyful experience! I took photos of each smiling family. Parents who still had his or her baby Torah from Holy Blossom shared a story with their children about their treasured Torah with tears in their eyes. Siblings were eager to eat the candies and have pictures taken holding the baby Torah. We celebrated a birthday with one child. We sang with one family as their bubble danced the Hora in front of their home. We met one family at the entrance to Cedarvale Ravine – what a sight we must have been singing, dancing, and taking pictures with the Torah.
I had a euphoric and accomplished feeling that whole day. Mark expected to stay in the car as we went from home to home. By the second family, he was on the sidewalk. By the third, he was singing. We all got caught up in the moment. The Consecration class and their families will never forget how they received their baby Torahs from Holy Blossom Temple. It will be a story they can share with their children. We created a special memory this Simchat Torah which I will cherish.