The rain didn’t dampen the nearly 1000 friends and family of Rabbi Hurwitz and Chabad of Temecula to help finish and dedicate the new torah in honor of Rabbi Hurwitz.
Almost all of the new Torah at Chabad Jewish Center in Temecula was handwritten with a quill by a specially trained scribe in Jerusalem.
But the inspiration for the text is the synagogue’s director, Rabbi Yitzchok Hurwitz. When Hurwitz was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease a year ago, he told his wife, Dina, that his biggest regret was not having a Torah specially commissioned for the center.
Hurwitz can no longer speak, but he was beaming Sunday as his hand covered a Los Angeles rabbi’s wrist while the rabbi wrote the final letter of the cowhide-parchment Torah. The holy book was dedicated in Hurwitz’s honor.
“It’s a dream come true,” Hurwitz wrote in response to a question as traditional Hassidic Jewish music played in the background. “For 15 years I have been wanting to bring a Torah to the community.”
By David Olson
All photos provided by David Cohen, BHEphotos