Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Congregation Sinai prepares Torah restoration


Congregation Sinai's Torah scrolls.

On Dec. 28, 2014, the members of Congregation Sinai and their spiritual leaders, Joe and Lynn Goldovitz, met to clean their large Torah scroll to prepare it for repair and restorations, which will take place in the spring. Before the actual repairs and restorations can proceed, a full evaluation of the scroll should take place. And before a proper evaluation can be made, the Torah scroll must be cleaned.

Since the Torahs are used every week, Congregation Sinai members felt it was their obligation to have them examined and repaired by a "specialist." That way, any damage to the parchment it was written on, or damage to the ink used in writing the letters on the scroll, would be corrected.

The congregation contacted "Sofer on Site," an organization of rabbis and sofers (scribes) who travel the country inspecting Torah scrolls, repairing them, and identifying and dating the scrolls for the congregations. Rabbi Bialo was asked to travel from his home in Miami to Minneola for advice. With his help the congregation plans to develop a project in the spring surrounding the actual restoration of their Torah scrolls.

Rabbi Bialo made some minor repairs to both of the Torahs, and found that the larger of the two Torah scrolls needed to be thoroughly cleaned prior to any more repairs. He gave instructions on how to clean this Torah, which is what the members did on Dec. 28. Rabbi Bialo will return in the spring to make the balance of the repairs.

Once the repairs are made, Congregation Sinai will establish a "Torah maintenance plan" to maintain the scrolls. A properly cared-for Torah scroll should function for generations.


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