Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Yoram Eliyahu: Rebuilding the Hometown Synagogue

Yoram Eliyahu is passionate about doing good works in his chosen home in the United States and his hometown of Kirat-Shmona, Israel. His hometown is a small one near the border of Lebanon. When Hezbollah forces from Lebanon attacked Israel in 2006, the small town suffered damage. When Yoram found out about the destruction and devastation that occurred there, he knew he had to help.

The synagogue in Kirat-Shmona had been badly damaged by missile fire, and the Torah it housed had been destroyed as well. Yoram contributed financially to the rebuilding of the synagogue. He did so because his faith is important to him, and because he knew firsthand how important the synagogue was to the community. He wanted to honor the place of his birth, where he was raised to appreciate traditional values.

But Yoram felt that the damage went beyond just the physical building. What was destroyed could be repaired, but never fully replaced. He wanted to find a way to restore a feeling of hope and pride in his community. When he heard about the destroyed Torah, he knew that replacing it would help boost morale. He did careful research to find a skilled sofer to write the new Torah on the special gevilparchment paper. Yoramthen commissioned the new Torah to be created.

Once the painstaking work was finished, there was the matter of delivering the sacred scroll to Kirat-Shmona. Writing a Sefer Torah takes as long as a year and a half, and includes hand lettering each of the 304,805 Hebrew letters that make up its text. Any error made during the transcription process may render the Sefer Torah invalid. So, the safety of this completed sacred scroll was extremely important. To ensure its safe delivery to Kirat-Shmona despite the unrest in the area, Yoram Eliyahu did everything possible to ensure its safe delivery to the rebuilt synagogue. This special Sefer Torah is still in use today.

Yoram Eliyahu: Community Leader

While some may not understand the significance of this deed, YoramEliyahu knew it was vital to the recovery of his hometown. He believes that faith is a vital force in any community. Time and money spent to honor one’s past and present leaders is time and money well spent. He desires to model what is truly important in life, including meeting the physical and emotional needs one sees in others. Yoram strives to be a community leader who inspires others to help where they are able. 

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