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Colonie Chai slates celebration of Torah saved from Gomel, Belarus

Torah finds a new home! Colonie Chai to note acquisition of this Torah with festive dinner.

ALBANY– Colonie Chabad Chai Jewish Center is celebrating and restoring a 100-year old Torah saved from Gomel, Belarus. A dinner celebration/dedication has been set for the main meeting room at the Crossings of Colonie Park, 580 Albany Shaker Rd., on Wednesday, June 26, at 5:30 p.m. The program is open to the community.

In 1989, after years of living under the Communist regime, Naftali (Tony) German arrived in the United States. He did not come empty-handed. He arrived with a 100 year-old Torah. Naftali’s father, Chaim German, had been the gabai of a shteibel (small synagogue) in Gomel, Belarus. Before he died, Chaim made his son promise that he would save the Torah and protect it from the Communists.

German was able to fulfill his father’s wish.

When he came to the capital region, German sought a home for his Torah. He wanted to give the Torah to a shul that did not have a Torah of its own, so that his father’s Torah would be used on a daily basis. The Torah recently found its home at the Colonie Chabad Chai Jewish Center.

“Our sages taught that each and every Jew has a letter in the Torah corresponding to his/her soul root and spiritual personality. Just as each word is an essential part of the Torah, so too each and every Jew is of utmost importance and constitutes an essential and integral part of the Jewish people,” said Rabbi Mordechai Rubin, the codirector of the Colonie Chai Jewish Center.

“It is an honor and a mitzvah to be a part of writing a Torah scroll. By endowing a word, letter or verse for yourself or family member or friend, it is as if you have written your own Torah scroll,” he added.

“Join us in celebrating history. Bring Chaim German’s life-long dedication to Judaism to life, along with millions of other Jewish people’s sacrifices for their faith, ” urged Chana Rubin, co-director of the Colonie Chai Jewish Center.

The Rubins indicated that community members have an opportunity to purchase a letter or verse in the Torah, or other objects needed for the Torah. Also, various portions of the Torah, may be dedicated to, and honor the memory of a loved one.

The Rubins at: chaicentercolonie@gmail.com or 518- 368-7886 can provide reservations for the festive meal and details about dedication opportunities.

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