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Secular Kibbutz ‘Revolts,’ Dedicates New Torah Scroll

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house Tuesday when secular Kibbutz Givat Brenner dedicated a new Torah scroll its members paid for.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 12/12/2012, 8:34 AM

Torah dedication at Kibbutz Givat Brenner
Torah dedication at Kibbutz Givat Brenner
Israel news photo: Yaakov Felberbaum

Kibbutz Givat Brenner, the largest kibbutz in Israel and one of the most secular, completed the first step in a “revolution” Tuesday night with the dedication of a new Torah scroll that kibbutz members paid for from their own pockets.

The dedication of a new Torah scroll here is a major revolution, Givat Brenner Rabbi Ephraim Shteinkoller told Arutz Sheva.

“The public decided it wanted a new Torah scroll next to an old one that was donated years ago in memory of kibbutz members who fell in wars,” he added.

The ceremony includes a procession under a “chupah,” similar to that of a wedding, symbolizing the eternal link between G-d and the Jewish People. Everyone present shed a tear, according to the rabbi.

Givat Brenner is part of the extremely secular Shomer Hatzair movement, but like most other kibbutzim, there has been a movement by young and old people to relocate their Jewish roots.

“We coordinated the dedication with the lighting of the menorah on the fourth night of Hanukkah,” Rabbi Shteinkoller said. “It was very emotional and a rare occasion.”

He said the reactions of the kibbutz members were interesting, ranging from outright support to passivity, but no one objected.

The Torahs scroll was written in the Sephardi tradition in order to encourage a larger number of Jews to attend the synagogue, where the existing Torah scroll was written in the Ashkenazi tradition.



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