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A double Hachnasas Sefer Torah celebration, recently held at Shaarei Torah of Los Angeles, began with the kesivas osios at the home of Regina Rechnitz, the Rechnitz family matriarch. The writing of the final letters was followed by a large procession through the streets of Los Angeles to the Shaarei Torah shul, home of the new Sifrei Torah.
As someone who lains fairly often at my synagogue, I don't consider it a big deal committing to a few aliyot every couple of weeks. I've even occasionally lained the megillah. Yet for more than 15 years, there is one Torah reading I have avoided laining at all costs: my bar mitzvah parshah.
There is growing fear that the anti-religious ferment in Israel reflected in the recent startling electoral victory of Tommy Lapid's Shinui Party also spawned the horrific arson burning of five Sifrei Torah. Police are still investigating the cause of the fire, but arson seems certain. Although news coverage of the incident has been sparse, reports that have appeared have hinted that the perpetrators were not Arab terrorists, but rather anti-religious Jewish Israelis.