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Next Steps in our Torah Project

05/14/2019 02:40:41 PM


Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

With thanks to Hashem, on Mother’s Day, 7 Iyar 5779, I finished writing my first Torah scroll.

On 8 Iyar, I traveled to Crown Heights with my children to hand the 63 pieces of parchment of our Torah to a professional sofer, R. Gad Sebag of Oraita. This sofer will run it through a computer scan, proofread it by hand, make corrections, add crowns to the letters, and sew it together. Then the Torah scroll will be returned to us for us to attach it to our etz chayim, fill in the last three words, and make an hachnasat Sefer Torah (translation: AN EPIC PARTY). We can’t set a date for the hachnasa yet, as R. Sebag still needs to assess how long it will take him to complete his task.

Our journey over the past nine months has been the most incredible spiritual experience of my life. Writing this Torah with our congregation has been transformative to my spiritual and personal life. I have gained new insights into the words of the Torah and the Talmud, my relationship with Hashem, and my interaction with others. Indeed, almost every Dvar Torah I have offered over this time period has been drawn from our communal experience of writing the Torah.

I have kept a spiritual diary—writing down each day what this process has meant for me. Many, but not all, of those thoughts have been shared on social media.

A highlight of this project for me has been my great merit to write this Torah with so many amazing people from our community. We have bonded and shared great spiritual moments around the words of the Torah.

It is my dream to turn our experiences during this process into a book. Our daughter, Lea, is editing my spiritual diary and is also collecting reflections and photographs from people who participated in this project. If you are able to share photographs or your own reflections and would be comfortable with us including it in our book, then please send them on to Lea at

Thank you for your help and support and participation in this very special project!


Rabbi Shmuel

Sun, May 31 2020 8 Sivan 5780