In a historic first since the country was established 60 years ago, a new Torah was welcomed in Zambia by shliach Rabbi Mendy Herzel and his congregation.
By: Anash.org reporter
For the first time since Zambia was established sixty years ago, the Jewish community welcomed a new Torah. Shliach Rabbi Mendy Herzel, who moved there just six months ago, led the inspiring and emotional event as the local congregation was filled with Jewish pride.
Rabbi Shlomo Bentolila, the head shliach of Central Africa, came to support and partake in the Hachnasas Sefer Torah as well. The Zambian Jewish community partook in the preparation for the event and sponsored a beautiful Aron Kodesh and paroches for their new Torah.
The event was a monumental display of Jewish pride in Zambia, and brought out a lot of emotion in all the local residents who joined. Just one year ago, there wasn’t even a shul there, and now they were getting their own beautiful Sefer Torah.
One elder Jewish citizen even put on tefillin for the first time, and celebrated his Bar Mitzva at the event. There was live music and dancing for all of the participants. Ten guests even flew in all the way from Israel to join, including the singer.
Rabbi Herzel spoke about the simcha that Torah adds to our day to day life, and shared the Rebbe’s perspective on the importance of a Hachnasas Sefer Torah and how it applies to our day to day life.
Many of the Jewish children who were born and raised in Africa, were amazed at the sights and customs they were experiencing at the celebration. This was the first time they had a shul, were seeing a new Torah, and celebrating Yidishkeit. It was a life-altering experience for them all.
“The event was a big success and a highlight for all those that attended,” shared Rabbi Herzel. “The light and life of Yidishkeit and Torah is being reignited deep inside Africa. The event catalyzed a series of wonderful reactions and its impact will be felt for many months to come.”