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September 12, 2003 - Image 71

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-12

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Newly scribed Torah memorializes 9-11 victims.

Staff Writer

liAT bile many reacted to the horrors of 9-11
in quiet, personal ways, four local fami-
lies turned their disbelief and outrage
into a positive community message.
"Two years ago, as soon as we learned of the tenor
attacks, we decided what we needed to do was to have
a Torah written — and to dedicate it to the memory of
the victims," said Jack Wolfe of West Bloomfield. "We
know that if everyone understood the ways of the
Torah, there would be no evil in the world."
Wolfe and other members of the Shul-Chabad
Lubavitch underwrote much of the cost of the Torah,
which will be housed at the West Bloomfield syna-
The Sept. 11 Memorial Torah was completed in a
Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield.

Above: Yisroel Shemtov, 3, of West Bloomfield

"We had actually discussed having a Torah written to
be dedicated to the Shul but, on 9-11, we knew it
needed to be done right away," Wolfe said of the group
that includes his wife Charlene, Elliot and Denise
Baum, Sam and Arlene Blumenstein and Howard and
Robin Schwartz, all of West Bloomfield, and their fam-
Wolfe and other organizers of a Sept. 11, 2001, Shul
golf fund-raiser learned of the terror attacks while
preparing for the event at Links of Novi. "We were all
watching live when the second plane hit," he said. "It
was the most chilling thing I had ever seen."
As guests unaware of the four plane attacks arrived,
they joined in the viewing. "I'll never forget what I
saw," Wolfe said. "It was the most shocking, numbing,
life-altering experience. In that moment, I knew clearly
for the first time I really saw evil; 9-11 was not about
Jews and Muslims or men and women or rich and
poor — it was about pure evil in the world."
As the group sat in eerie silence, the Shul Rabbi
Kasriel Shemtov remembers, "We began to pray.

Then we made plans for the Torah."

The Making Of A Torah

"That very day, a call was made to a scribe in Israel
who was commissioned to write the Torah," said Shua
Rosenstein, the Shul's project coordinator, along with
Rabbi Yudi Mann.
Just two weeks before this year's 9-11 anniversary, the
scroll of parchment arrived at the Shul. "Most of the
letters had already been hand-written by an Israeli
scribe with a feather quill before it was sent here,"
Rosenstein said.
Local scribe Rabbi Levi Kagan of Oak Park complet-
ed the unfinished portion of the Torah. "He sewed on
the wooden handles that were hand-carved in Israel,"
Rosenstein said.
Rabbi Kagan also was on hand Thursday to com-
plete the writing of the Torah.
"The 613th mitzvah of the Torah says we should
write a Torah for ourselves," Rosenstein said. "Because
most of us don't know how and can't afford the cost of



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