The efforts of a dedicated group of bochurim will allow the eighth Children’s Sefer Torah to be finished in record time. You too can join the efforts to finish this mass undertaking in honor of Shnas Hakhel.
By Anash.org reporter
Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated group of bochurim and yungeleit, the eighth Children’s Torah will be completed in record time.
On Yud Alef Nissan 5741, the Rebbe announced a new initiative; A Torah should be written for children, uniting Jewish children around the world. Over the next few days, the Rebbe farbrenged another two times, urging Chassidim to sign children up for the special Torah.
The first Torah was finished in a matter of months. The Rebbe introduced the idea on Yud Aleph Nissan and the letters were completely sold out by the end of Tammuz. That is 304,805 letters bought for 304,805 children around the world in less than four months.
The consequential Torahs took more time; seven written in forty years. But now the urgency is mounting as the deadline for the the eighth Torah’s completion is approaching. Many inspired Lubavitchers have taken it upon themselves to spread the word and get a letter for every Jewish child,
At the forefront of the campaign is the director of the organization Ois B’Sefer Torah, Rabbi Shmuel Greisman.
“The writing of the Torah is imperative for the safety and stability of the entire world. The achdus of the children that is achieved through Torah is most tangible when each child has a physical and literal part in a universal Torah,” he explains. “We hope to finish the next Torah in two months; everyone who can spread the word and share about this important campaign should. The letters can be bought for a baby right when it is born- before it even is named it can and should join the achdus of Klal Yisroel.”
Originally, the sign-ups all had to be done with a paper sign-up sheet in person, and then mailed to the organization Israel. Nowadays, we have so many platforms and media outlets to accomplish greater and quicker results instantly. One Lubavitcher who has been using social media extensively to get more children signed up to The Children’s Torah, has brilliantly figured out how to use the platform algorithms to his advantage.
“Whenever someone posts online that they had a baby, I always comment with a direct link to KidsTorah.org so they can immediately buy their baby a letter. When Facebook sees that I always comment on people’s baby news, they realize I’m interested in these kinds of posts and send more similar news in my direction,” shares Asher Vorst. “In that way, I’m able to reach many parents of newborns, who can then, in one simple click, purchase a letter for their baby.”
This kind of creative outreach is helping people reach a wider audience much faster and making the sign-up easier encouraging parents to join the campaign. Social media also helps you reach a global audience you would never have had access to otherwise.
“If the baby I’m congratulating is the child of a Shliach, I’m sharing a comment explaining the importance of purchasing an ois in the Torah and his whole community can see it,” explains Vorst. “Anyone else in the community can read the comment and has immediate access to the link to purchase a letter for his child as well.”
Mendel Gerlitzky got involved in the efforts when he was learning in Postville and made an Ois B’sefer Torah Float at the Lag Baomer parade to spread the word to all the non Chabad families there. At the parade they already had 35 sign ups from the children there, and he realized what an easy mivtza it is to be involved in- within minutes you can do it anywhere, even with other frum communities.
After that, he got very involved; reaching out to all the visitors who came to 770 and the frum families who came to the JCM on Chol Hamoed. He also brought it to the airport mivtzoim table and got all the people there involved.
“This year, it’s Hakhel, the eighth year, and the eighth Torah being written,” he shares. “I reached out to Rabbi Shmuel Greisman and said we need to make a siyum this year. He agreed 100%. The challenge was that it was already Chanukah time they still needed another 170,000 letters. Since then, we spoke out in 770 and got many more people involved. Rabbi Sholom Ber Marzel in Eretz Yisroel rallied to increase the purchases there, and Rabbi Yossi Rapp of ChabadAir here in New York was working with me as well.”
A number of times every week, Gerlitzky and others man the ChabadAir booth at JFK airport, offering Yidden on their way to Eretz Yisroel the chance to sign their children up. They quickly began bringing in dozens of new names every time they went.
The group of bochurim and yungeleit made sure to document and share their successes, and made a point to share photos whenever a distinguished rov, rebbishe einikel or even a singer would purchase letters. Their fervor began to spread, spreading a new enthusiasm for the Rebbe’s mivtza across the globe.
“Baruch Hashem, al together we managed to sign up over 100,000 children since Chanukah of this year! We still have another 60,000 letters we need now to get before the Siyum on Chof Av,” Gerlitzky says.
“Everyone can help and get involved. If you’re in the Catskills and are waiting in line in a Pizza store, you can sign up the frum kids near you. In one minute you can reach out and have them have an everlasting connection to the Rebbe,” he said.
As the siyum nears, the efforts are going into a higher gear. A special campaign has been launched to encourage every chossid to have their neighbors, friends, co-workers or any other Yid sign up their children.
Anyone who signs up eight children will enter a raffle to win a dollar from the Rebbe , a trip for your whole family to come to the Rebbe, or a trip to Eretz Yisroel to partake in the siyum on Chof Av.
Join the efforts to spread the word by sharing the link kidstorah.org/buy-a-letter with family and friends and posting it in any forum that you may have influence in.