Parades with Torah Scrolls!
Inspiration and Celebration in Tel Aviv
A first in recent memory: A new Torah Scroll procession complete with music and singing danced down the streets of Tel Aviv. Many had never seen such an event before, but the joy was contagious.
A Hebrew-language video of the joyous event, complete with reactions from both secular and observant participants - recommended viewing - can be seen below (credit to NRG).
The scroll was donated to the Rosh Yehudi (lit. Jewish Mindset) organization, a group dedicated to Jewish outreach to the modern, trendy Tel Aviv population. The donor is Chaim Avrahami, a long-time resident of Los Angeles and now of Tel Aviv. Speaking on the backdrop of joyous music and dancing by Jews of all types, Avrahami summed up by saying, "This Torah scroll was supposed to go to US Jewry, but then we decided that the best thing would be to leave it here in Israel, with the Rosh Yehudi group - and then Torah will bring all the Jews to Israel!"
"I see this as something special, something holy - and it's great!" one not-religious woman told NRG in the video above.
Rosh Yehudi conducts Torah classes, arranges study partners for those who want, runs regular prayer services, and more.
One young man says, "I came to Tel Aviv about a year ago, and since then I got hooked on Rosh Yehudi -- they're essentially my family here... I spend almost every Shabbat with them, and holidays too..."
Another young woman, apparently on her way to full religious observance, said, "This is exactly what I dreamed about - Judaism that is Orthodox, but also accepts every Jew exactly as he is... They talk in a new-age style, but Torah is Torah and the truth is truth... Everyone takes what he wants, based on where he is. It's really great."
One Rosh Yehudi member said, "When you see all the youths jumping and dancing [at this procession], even inside passing buses [and on porches of homes] - apparently they feel they're missing just a little bit of Judaism..."
Zeira told Arutz-7, "As opposed to the common perception, the people of Israel love G-d, love Torah and love Judaism, and the moment they are given the opportunity, the true heart comes out. This is the real Tel Aviv."
Yisrael Ze'ira can be contacted in English at: email@example.com or cellphone (Hebrew-only): 052-429-5592.