Certified Torah scroll scribe David Ehrentreu fills in one of the last letters of the local Jewish community's new Torah scroll for local Rabbi Shmuly Hecht (left) at a ceremony in Kelowna Tuesday.

First Torah scroll completed in the Okanagan

Kelowna Jews celebrate as a new copy of one of the most sacred documents in the Jewish religion is finished here.

The Jewish community in the Okanagan has a new Torah scroll.

After years of borrowing scrolls to read from during ceremonies,religious gatherings, holidays and events, Stephen Cipes, owner of Summerhill Pyramid Winery, paid $40,000 to have one written especially for the Chabad Okanagan Synagogue in Kelowna.

“The Torah is the heart of Judaism, it is our backbone,” said Rabbi Shmuly Hecht of Chabad Okanagan. “It is a user-manual for a Jew, how a Jew should live life according to God.”

The scroll, written by a certified Torah scroll scribe in Israel, took a year to write and is written on special parchment in a special ink, using a quill. The calligraphy is precise.

Hecht said all Torah scrolls are written the same way they have been written for 3,600 years.

On Tuesday, in a park in south Pandosy, members of the local Jewish community gathered to not only get a look at their new Torah scroll but also participate in a once-in-a-lifetime experience, helping complete a Torah.

Each member of the community got to help complete a letter in the new scroll with the assistance of certified Torah scroll scribe David Ehrentreu, who flew in from New York to participate.

Also on hand was Rabbi Yitzchak Wineberg, the head of Chabad B.C., who drove from Vancouver for the ceremony.

“This is quite amazing,” he said. “I’m here to help celebrate a milestone.”

He described the Torah, which is read whenever Jews meet, as a document that “signified eternity of the Jewish people.”

He called it a great honour to be able to help complete a Torah scroll, one many Jews never get an opportunity to experience.

Cipes said when he made his offer to provide the Okanagan with a Torah scroll, he had no idea it would be a first for the Okanagan.

“It kinda just flowed from me. I didn’t even know how much it would cost. I jut wanted to do it.”

The Torah contains the five books of Moses, from Genesis to Deuteronomy. Written in Hebrew, it is the same as the document Moses is said to have brought down from Mount Sinai. Containing 613 commandments, it is made up of 600,000 individual characters, the same number as the number of Jews who fled Egypt according Jewish religious teachings.

The new Torah scroll will make its home in the Chabad Okanagan Synagogue in Kelowna.



Just Posted

Boil water notice in effect for Peachland

Interior Health recommends all customers drink boiled water or a safe alternative.

Tax increase proposed to meet Lake Country facility maintenance gap

A draft of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan proposes tax increases

Top 5 places to take your dog in Kelowna

Here are our top five places to take your furry friend

COSAR makes Kelowna Law Day debut

The search and rescue team was on scene as Girl Guides were arrested left and right

Kelowna woman runs to beat hunger

Teri Kanner is collecting donations for the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank

VIDEO: Moose found licking salt off B.C. man’s pickup truck

Tab Baker was in his garage in Prince George when the small moose gave his truck a clean

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

West Kelowna Minor Baseball finally sees the light

The local baseball association has stadium lights at its main stadium

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

Kamloops RCMP respond to report of dead body floating in Thompson River

Body has not been located, searches to continue as river conditions improve

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

Most Read