A Unique Tribute
Festive dedication of new Torah to honor memory of young man.
SHELLI LIEBMAN DORFMAN
ollovving a moving tradition, the family of
the late Ari Marc Levadi will honor his life
with the presentation of a treasured gift in a
"It is customary among Sephardic Jews that if some-
one dies before they marry and have children, the fam-
ily dedicates a Torah — under the chuppah — in their
honor," said Levadi's sister Kadima Ben-Ezra of
West Bloomfield. "It is almost like the wedding
they didn't have."
The Sefer Torah (Torah scroll) dedication cere-
mony will take place 11:15
a.m. Sunday, May 23, at
Keter Torah Synagogue for
Levadi, who died suddenly in
September 2002 at age 33 of
a pulmonary embolism.
The Torah will be dedicat-
ed by his parents, Dr. David
and Laurette Levadi of West
"My parents commissioned
the writing of the Torah in
Israel, written with my broth-
er in mind," Ben-Ezra said.
The Torah's procession will
begin outdoors. "We will
Ari Marc Levadi
dance with all our Sifrei
Torah in the parking lot
before proceeding inside the sanctuary where
sofer [scribe] Rabbi [Avrohom] Cohen [of
Southfield] will complete the writing of the final
letters," wrote Keter Torah Rabbi Michael
Cohen in a letter to his congregants.
The Levadi family agreed to share the mitz-
vah of the writing of the Torah.
The $360 donations that will be made
by those sponsoring letters in the Torah
will go toward
Holding the case for the new
ment of the
Torah is David Ben-Ezra
with his wife, Kadima, and
their children Solomon, 5,
"My family is
and, seated between Avis
parents David and Laurette
from all over the
Levadi, Rebecca, 3, and
world, as if this
Jonathan, 22 months.
was my brother's
wedding," Ben-Ezra said. "We have 30 shomer Shabbat
[Shabbat observant] families who will be staying with
people near our shul."
Several prominent Sephardic rabbis will also attend,
including Rabbi Solomon Maimon of Seattle and
Rabbi Sasson Natan of Chicago, who will provide
music. Rabbi Shmuel Irons of the Kollel Institute of-
Greater Detroit in Oak Park will speak.
Guests will be able to view photos of Levadi and
hear the music, he, as a songwriter, created and
"When I got married, we had a special dinner and
lunch for family the days before the wedding," Ben-
Ezra said. "We will do the same this weekend —
even with the same caterer. Every detail is thought
out, as it would be for a wedding. The entire
process is very meaningful."
For information on the Sefer Torah dedication,
call Keter Torah Synagogue at (248) 681-3665.
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