A TORAH FOR KKSY/UGANDA

 The thought of Jews living without Torah is strange and bizarre as it is foreign to what it means to be a Jew. Torah is the air we breathe, the water from which we drink, the tree of life we cling to. Torah is our law, our history, our guidepost and our compass. 

Yet, our beloved KKSY community does not have a Torah. To clarify, they do have “Torah”, in the sense that they have sefarim (holy books), siddurim (prayer books), and teachings from the Rabbis. But they do not have “Torah” in the sense of a “Sefer Torah”, an actual kosher Torah Scroll from which the congregants can chant the Torah service and read the weekly portions. 

A valuable treasure is not left exposed or vulnerable. 

To determine the ‘kashrut’ or acceptability of a Sefer Torah, a professional scribe (sofer stam) meticulously writes a Torah or scrutinizes each and every letter of an existing Torah, correcting any part of the writing that needs fixing and can be fixed. The sofer stam also checks the quality of the klaf (parchment) to make sure it is in good condition. 

From the sparkling silver of the Torah’s rimmonim (finials), to the fine craftsmanship of the wooden `ētz ḥayyîm (rolling handles), to the exquisite and varied artistry of the intricate tapestries and embroideries of the Torah’s covering or “mantle”, they all are lovingly displayed and serve to glorify the Jewish people’s most precious possession. 

The Torah symbolizes an appreciation for our long-standing traditions and unbroken chain throughout our history. While the particular customs might vary from culture to culture and from community to community, across the globe, Jews are reciting from the same Torah, performing the same rituals, and chanting the same words. The giving and acceptance of the Torah at Mt. Sinai (Matan Torah), is the pinnacle of our unity as a people and is the symbol of the eternal covenant between the Jewish nation and God. 

Please help us continue in this everlasting tradition for our friends at the KKSY community by donating to our newly formed KKSY Torah Fund. And may we all be merited to hear the joyful chanting from the Torah, together as a kehillah of friends, soon, in Uganda, in Kenya, in each and every country of the world, and in the echoed hallways of Jerusalem, `Îr haKodesh, the Holy City.