Friday, June 17, 2011

Sefer Torah and Hidden Graves

The oppurtunity to fulfill the mitzvah of writting a Sefer Torah by actually writting a Sefer Torah is a rare opportunity. I had done it once before, when my Yeshiva was taking the Sefer Torah from place to place to give alumni the opportunity to write a letter, even if they could not afford it. I was so nervous, that I basically losely held the pen while the Sofer did the work.

Shavuot night, they announced that a new Sefer Torah was being donated to the shul last night. What immediately appealed to us, was that they allocated the last two words for all of the children and would only require a 5 NIS donation. We immediately bought one for Channah and Gabi. After much contemplation we decided to by two letters at full price. One for my FIL who is currently on the winning side of a battle with a brain tumor and one for our family.

We got to the house where the final letters were being written and I told the Sofer that I had bought two letters. He asked if I wanted him to do it or if I would like to do it myself. I told him that I wanted to do it. He showed me how to hold the pen and had me practise on a scrap piece of parchment. I got it perfect on the first shot, so the Sofer picked out some of the harder letters to fill out. My hand started to shake, then I couldn't get the ink to come out. After some moving around he found me a Bet and a Reish to fill in from the world בארץ I wrote my two letters and then the Sofer cleaned them up and finished the word. There are commentaries who say that you can read out all of Jewish History in Parsha וזאת הבראכה and now I had my own special word. I hadn't really been paying attention to the Pasuk and in my head was thinking how it normally refers to the Land of Israel and how appropriate that was.

I then went to Shul for Mincha and looked up the Pasuk. In that section the word comes up 3 times. 34:5 - Moshe died, 34:6 - we don't know where Moshe is buried. 34:11 - evidence there will never be another like Moshe. I immediately freaked out because I thought, I had written from 34:6. My special word in the Torah was a remez (hint) about Gabi. Instead I have a Gzerah Shava (when on word is written in multiple places, we can learn out concepts between the different psukim).

I don't know what the lesson is, but somehow it connects, the first ever generation of Olim (our Aliyah), Moshe's unknown grave (just like Gabi) and those unable to enter the land of Israel.

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