More than 5,000 children, many of whom never had seen a Torah scroll, received special instructions and wrote letters on a new scroll dedicated in Rehovot, south of Tel Aviv.
“I suggested to the Municipality that each child in Rehovot should write a letter in a Sefer Torah in honor of the city’s [120th] anniversary,” explained Rehovot Chief Rabbi Simcha HaCohen Kook.
Rehovot resident and philanthropist Sandy Colb donated the funds for the project, and each Rehovot school allocated a special room for the Torah scribe, who went around the schools throughout the past year.
Ten children at a time were ushered into the room and were given instructions what to say and do. Many of the children who had the chance to place their hands over those of the scribe and write with him had never seen a Torah scroll in their lives.
Religious and secular parents joined in the unprecedented event of commemorating a Torah scroll written in part by children. They danced around the Torah in a parade left by Rav Kook and Rehovot Mayor Rachamim Malul as it approached Rehovot’s historic Beit Knesset HaGadol synagogue, built by Rav Yaakov Broyde, one of the city's founders.
"You can’t imagine how children with no Torah background kissed the Sefer Torah and danced around it," said Rav Kook. “I do not believe that there has ever been a Kiddush HaShem [sanctification of the Name] like this. The fact that thousands of children wrote a Sefer Torah will surely be a tremendous privilege for the Jews here in Israel, and all over the world."