LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The Chabad of Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch will launch the Chabad Community Torah at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23, with what promises to be a spectacular inaugural event in conjunction with the Chabad Annual Gala Auction and Cocktail Party at the Fete Catering and Polo Grill Ballroom, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch.
On the main stage on a special table, a Sofer scribe will supervise members of the Chabad Jewish Community as they inscribe the first few lines of the Torah. The ceremony will be in accordance with Jewish custom that members of the community be honored with writing the inaugural letters of a Torah.
"The idea that this is the word of God becoming real, when the pen hits the paper, it's like heaven touching Earth," said Rabbi Mendy Bukiet, director of Chabad of Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch. "We take a physical piece of parchment and make it divine."
Organizers say the event signifies a deeper connection prevalent within the Jewish people. The most important element within the Torah is unity, and writing a Torah specifically for the Chabad Jewish Community celebrates Jewish unity and solidarity. That's why this year's event is themed "Unite for Chabad."
Aside from viewing the actual process of the Torah writing, a gourmet kosher buffet dinner and desserts will be served, more than 75 prizes will be up for silent and live auctions, and attendees will be entertained by master hypnotist Richard Barker.
"I'm excited to be part of an event, where so many Jews from different walks of life will come together to celebrate Jewish unit," said Rabbi Mendy Bukiet. "Our goal is to get every single Jewish man, woman and child in the area involved in this momentous project. The unifying force generated by a project like the Chabad Torah is truly awesome."
Chabad plans another communitywide event in conjunction with the Chabad Torah in October upon completion of the Torah. The Sofer scribe will come to Lakewood Ranch to conclude the Torah and to exhibit its progress.
Information: 941-782-0899, chabadofbradenton.com or Chabadauction.net.