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    Rolling over – B’reshit

    Blessed is the synagogue with many Torahs.

    Each Torah tells a story. Like a human being, a Torah comes from somewhere and could well have had a lifetime of vicissitudes.

    There are Torahs which are Holocaust survivors, Torahs which have been loved and Torahs which have been neglected, Torahs which have migrated from place to place and Torahs which have enjoyed the same habitat all their lives.

    The story of many a community could be told in relation to its Torahs. Not only the physical Torah scrolls, but the community’s sometimes changing attitudes to the teachings of the Torah.

    It’s a good theme for Parashat B’reshit, when the annual roll-over takes place and the scroll is moved from its end, V’zot HaB’rachah, to its beginning, B’reshit Bara.

    What has happened since the last roll-over? Has the community moved almost perfunctorily from sidra to sidra, taking very little notice of the Torah message?

    Has real knowledge of Torah deepened, has the fulfilment of the commandments increased?

    Have lives changed because of the Torah, or has Torah, God forbid, become more and more irrelevant to the real concerns of daily living?

    The Torahs in the Ark could tell such a story about their congregation!

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