The Sefer Torah Parade

Tzivia Adler; Avra­ham Zmo­ra, illus.
  • Review
By – August 6, 2012

One of the most spe­cial, col­or­ful and joy­ous cus­toms in Jew­ish life, although not wide­ly known, is that of the fes­tive pro­ces­sion bring­ing a new Torah scroll to join the oth­er Torahs already owned by a syn­a­gogue. The newest Torah approach­es its new home in an atmos­phere of love, joy, and cel­e­bra­tion. With the par­tic­i­pa­tion of con­gre­gants and guests, the sofer or scribe fin­ish­es writ­ing the final let­ters of the Torah in front of the assem­bled crowd and then the Torah is lift­ed high for all to see it in its new­ly com­plet­ed glo­ry. It is dressed in its beau­ti­ful man­tle and its shiny crown and is car­ried on parade, accom­pa­nied by music, danc­ing and excite­ment. A chup­pah or mar­riage canopy is erect­ed over the Torah and those who car­ry it as the pro­ces­sion con­tin­ues along the streets of the city or town.

This book tells the sto­ry of a Torah pro­ces­sion through the eyes of a young girl and boy as they watch the pro­ceed­ings with wide-eyed won­der. After the Torah is placed gen­tly in the ark, the cel­e­bra­tion con­tin­ues and will be long remem­bered as a time of joy.

Col­or illus­tra­tions show an Ortho­dox black-hat­ted com­mu­ni­ty cel­e­brat­ing this rite but the text reads as wel­com­ing and open to all syn­a­gogues and all Jews.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 3 – 6.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

Discussion Questions