Temple Emanu-El Centennial Torah

Temple Emanu-El received its new Linda Nadell Centennial Torah on Sunday, Aug. 29, 2010. The Siyyum (completion) ceremony, attended by more than 500 people from all over Southern Arizona, was the culmination of a year of learning and celebration during the writing of the Torah by Rabbi Shmuel Miller, the sofer (scribe).

The Siyyum began with a procession of celebrants carrying Temple Emanu-El’s current Torah scrolls. The Centennial Torah, carried by Alan Levenson, husband of the late Linda Nadell, was brought in under the chuppah in a symbolic union of the Torah with all of the Jewish people. Miller helped Temple members fill in the final letters of the scroll. “When we read these words we are entering a great tradition,” said Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon. “We are holding onto the Shalshelet HaKabbalah, the long chain of received learning. But we are doing much more. We are forging a new link, creating a new generation of sacred teaching.”

The event was preceded by a welcome breakfast and followed by a dessert reception provided by Temple’s Women of Reform Judaism.

Rabbi Shmuel Miller helps Allycyn Jacobs, daughter of Linda Nadell, fill in one of the final letters of Deuteronomy.
Rabbi Baruch Cohon (left), father of Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon (right), chants the first reading from the Centennial Torah.
Sculptor Merlin Cohen and Alan Levenson unveil a sculpture Cohen made to commemorate the occasion.
Rabbi Shmuel Miller helps Dr. Steve Dickstein fill in a letter as Ruth Dickstein, Centennial Torah co-chair, looks on.
Children from the Strauss Early Childhood Education Center, holding plush toy Torah scrolls, sing at the Siyyum.