Amid COVID-19 chaos, a new initiative is spreading hope and healing. How did the Unity Sefer Torah come about? Anash.org went behind the scenes to hear the inspiring story.
By Anash.org reporter
It all began at 5:00 on Wednesday afternoon, when Shloimy Greenwald of Crown Heights reached out to a friend.
“He sent me a letter of the Frierdiker Rebbe and told me to read it, then asked me what I think of the idea,” Berl Junik told Anash.org, referring to a letter in which the Frierdiker Rebbe tells the story of a disease stricken Mezhibush.
It was in the times of the Baal Shem Tov and men, women and children were falling ill to a dreadful disease. Out of desperation, the community leaders turned to the Baal Shemtov and asked him to daven on behalf of the community that the plague vanish from their midst.
The Baal Shemtov responded that the annulment of the decree was in their hands; the solution to their growing problem was for the entire community to participate in the creation of a new Torah. The people took upon themselves to do just that and the Baal Shemtov instructed his sofer to begin writing this unity Torah. Amazingly, as the Torah was written, the community began to heal.
After reading this story, Greenwald knew that it was exactly the thing that was needed right now. Without wasting a moment, he reached out to Junik and asked for his thoughts.
“I said it’s a beautiful idea; let’s go ahead and do it. We got together with our friend Zalmy Cohen and started to make some arrangements,” Junik said. “I reached out to the sofer who said we should do it in the morning; but we said, ‘Why push off something so important?’ We decided to start it that same evening.”
“The matzav is so difficult over here,” said Greenwald. “We just wanted to stop the bleeding as fast as possible. The idea came up within a few minutes, and was arranged in a few hours.”
“Baruch Hashem, we’ve received an overwhelming response,” Junik said. “I’m sure it’s helped many people already, and will help many more. With the koach of the Baal Shem Tov and the Rebbe, this is going to stop the mageifa.”
“This Torah is for all Jews who want to participate,” said Greenwald.
All Yidden are being asked to join together to storm the heavens and eradicate this virus from our midst. Letters can be purchased through the Unity Torah’s website.
“I’m sure that from here, we are stepping straight into the geulah with Moshiach tzidkeinu,” Junik concluded.