The dedication of a new Torah scroll is always a cause for celebration. But for the small yet proud Jewish community in South Korea, just such a dedication Sunday meant so much more. Not only did it cap the community’s recent unprecedented growth, it welcomed what for Jews elsewhere in the world is almost a given: a Torah scroll of their own.
Often a Torah scroll – which typically costs in excess of $10,000 and can cost as much as $30,000 – is donated by generous individuals in honor or in memory of a loved one, but according to Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Osher Litzman, the South Korean Torah was funded by the community members themselves.
“We have been blessed with donations from locals, visitors and friends who have helped to cover a significant amount of the expenses,” said Litzman, who is still fundraising for the project. “The goal is that everyone in the community will have a share.”