The Jewish community in North Queensland has received its first ever Sefer Torah with a procession down the streets of Cairns.
Rabbi Gutnick the Soifer, and a Jewish band were flown in from Melbourne to the event at which more than 200 people celebrated the Torah with singing and dancing.
The last letter was filled in by the donors Tom and Issy Jacob while the crowd broke into spontaneous dancing.
Jews came from all over Rural North Queensland for the event. The RARAJewish communities of Townsville, Ravenshoe, Mission Beach, South Johnstone and Mossman all sent representatives. This Sefer Torah will be the first Torah for the North Queensland region.
Rabbi Ari Rubin the Chabad of RARA Shaliach and organizer of the event Spoke about the significance of the event and the day and introduced all the speakers.
Mayor Bob Manning shared words of encouragement. Expressing how it is only when each culture is strong in their beliefs can we all grow as a community.
RARA Founder Mr. Saul Spigler echoed those words and commented on how his organisation, Chabad of Rural and Regional Australia, has been there for all such communities around our great land.
Special mention was made to the Late Paul Kamsler for his vision and care for the Cairns Jewish Community. Finally Tom Jacob shared his history and relationship with the Rabbi’s family, how blessed we are to live in Australia and his desire to see the warmth of Judaism spread to the North Queensland communities.
The Sefer Torah then was escorted under the Chupah into the streets with the Police guiding the traffic until they reached its final destination.
Mayor Manning wrote later to Rara Shliach Rabbi Ari Ruben: “Just a sort note to say how much I appreciated being invited to Sunday’s ‘Torah’ dedication ceremony.
It was a great honour to have been invited to be present and I look forward to the Jewish community playing an active part in the affairs of this city.”
(YWN Headquarters – NYC)