Thursday, / June 30, 2022

A Mom, A Torah, A Chuppah Ceremony

The thought that she would never get to stand with her son under the chuppah broke Elisheva (Irene) Solovey’s heart. The single mom mourned the untimely passing of her son Eliezer (Leonard) at age 23. She needed solace. 

She found it in the creation of a Torah scroll in his memory. On a Sunday in May, Eliezer’s Torah was carried under the chuppah in a festive event along the streets of Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach. Friends, families and locals came out to celebrate, to wish Irene “mazel tov!” as she walked her Eliezer’s Torah to the FREE (Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe) synagogue of Brighton Beach. 

“This Torah is now my son’s home,”  she told Rabbi Okonov, Chabad emissary to Brighton Beach. “Every time it  is read, he continues to bring light to the world through it, connecting the physical and spiritual worlds together.” 

The month of May was busy for Brighton Beach’s Jewish community, and a few days later another Torah was dedicated by a member of FREE. This one, by Akiva Aguvayev, in honor of his parents’ good health. People often wait to do this in memory of a loved one, the 56 year-old businessman explained. “But I want my parents to enjoy it in their lifetime. Watching my father write the last letter in the Torah was very special for me.”

The final letters were inscribed in The New Brighton Jewish Center, where Akiva met Rabbi Faivel Rimler when he first moved to Brighton Beach. “Rabbi Rimler has a special place in my heart, and inscribing the final letters in his synagogue was very meaningful to me.” The Torah was then carried to FREE, where Akiva davens, under the leadership of Rabbi Hershel Okonov.

Mr. Isaac Liberman, president of FREE of Brighton Beach, marveled at the unity of the shuls of Brighton Beach. “Throughout the year,” he said, “members of the various communities help each other out, especially during these challenging times. It is very heartwarming to witness the Jewish unity and pride of Brighton Beach, and to be able to dance and celebrate together.” 

Comment 2
  • lila Stein

    wonderful

  • Masha Chaya Mastin

    as a former Soviet Jewry activist, I never thought I would see the Jews of Russia released from their bondage and live to see them pray as Jews out in the open and also, be here in The United States living as Jews.

Add

Related Articles
Unknown Jewish Man Receives Full Jewish Burial
When an unknown Jew passed away without any family, Chabad gave him a full Jewish burial.
‘Disturbed’ Lead Vocalist Meets Chabad at the Kotel
Camera crews jostled with security personnel, reporters, and fans as heavy metal star David Draiman made his way across the plaza towards the Kotel (Western…
Desert Wedding Seals a Year of Torah Learning for Young Eastern European Jews
Culminating a year of Torah study, six hundred young eastern European Jews enjoy a spectacular trip to Dubai.
Last-Minute Drive-Through Show Inspires Argentinian Community
14,700 Jewish Argentines of all stripes rushed to see the one-of-a-kind drive-through performance over ten days
Newsletter
Donate
Find Your Local Chabad Center
Magazine