Scribing a New Torah at BETC
We launch this Jewish New Year of 5783 with a new congregational theme centered around the shared experience of writing our own Torah. Our theme, Together in Torah, builds upon the acquisition of our new Torah scroll and related programming, all made possible by the generosity of Randy Gollub and Jon Hirschtick. We will weave shared learning and rejoicing into many of our ongoing activities as well as the unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience of scribing a Hebrew letter into our beautiful Torah scroll. Our goal is to provide opportunities for every person in our community to engage with this theme and the creation of this new scroll, in all the ways that are meaningful for them.
We are commanded to “write down this song and teach it to the children of Israel” (Deuteronomy 31:19), to ensure that the teachings of the Torah are passed down l’dor vador – from generation to generation. To assist us in this sacred work, we have hired a sofer, Neil Yerman, and a soferet, Julie Selzer, each of whom possess enormous skill and heart (lev). They will each be coming to spend time with us over the upcoming year to write the final parts of the Torah scroll and to lead an array of programs that delve into the theme of Torah, including special Sunday School programs for our younger members.
Sign up to Scribe a Letter
Sofer Yerman or Soferet Seltzer will write a letter in the Torah with you as part of an educational and meditative experience. The parchment you write on will be sewn into the new Torah, to be preserved for generations to come.
How it works
Scribing sessions begin with meditative activities that prepare you for the mitzvah of writing a Torah. You may engage with these in whatever manner is meaningful for you. When it is your turn to write, Sofer Yerman or Soferet Seltzer will lead you in some learning and appropriate blessings, for example, if you are scribing in honor of someone or in memory of someone. Each person may write one Hebrew letter with the scribe.
You may sign up as an individual or in groups. Families are encouraged to participate in a scribing session together. The suggested donation is $18 for every person writing a letter. As is the tradition in our community, we do not want financial considerations to be a barrier to participating in this special experience and encourage all to sign up for a scribing session regardless of whether you are able to donate.
How to sign up
Please use our sign up form to reserve a time slot for each individual. Please select the "Quantity" of slots based on the number of people in your family or group. Enter each name in the "Comments" box. This will ensure that we do not overbook the sessions. For example, a group of three should sign up for "Quantity: 3" spaces. Please note that the comments and your name will be displayed on the page and others will see them when they sign up.
Note: We cannot guarantee that you will be able to write a specific letter. When it is your turn to write, you will join Sofer Yerman or Soferet Seltzer at their place on the parchment.
Together in Torah
Let’s delve into Torah together, in all the ways that Torah touches our lives. Please check back here for the latest updates in our program offerings!
Renewing our Tree of Life
If you feel moved to donate toward our year of Torah, your generosity, at any level, is welcome. Your contribution enables BETC to be a vibrant kehillah (community) from generation to generation.