Sunday, February 25 marked just over three years since Rabbanith Ruth Menashe’s untimely passing. Rabbanith Ruth Menashe was a beloved leader, mentor, friend, and confidante to so many in the Great Neck community and beyond. After her passing, numerous people wanted to do something meaningful to honor her memory, which is how the idea of sponsoring a Sefer Torah in her name was born.
Through the efforts and funds raised by her family and many friends and supporters, the dream of dedicating a Sefer Torah in Rabbanith Ruth’s name became a reality. The Hakhnasath Sefer Torah began with a procession down Cuttermill Rd. in Great Neck, NY towards the Inn at Great Neck. Braving the rain and wind, people marched and sang with the Sefer Torah, leading it joyfully towards the Inn. Once arriving at the Inn, two Sifrei Torah used at Midrash Ben Ish Hai greeted this Sefer Torah, and attendees engaged in joyful dancing and celebration. Participants also had the opportunity to have their own letter inscribed in this Sefer Torah, and partook in delicious refreshments sponsored by Colbeh Restaurant.
The most moving part of the evening was undoubtedly when Rabbanith Ruth’s son, Rabbi Menashe Menashe addressed the crowd. He spoke about Parashat Zachor and the upcoming holiday of Purim, explaining how Amalek’s premise in life was that there was no G-d in control of the world, and that everything that occurs is simply happenstance. While we no longer know who the descendants of Amalek are, a way we can counteract their message is by seeing the hand of G-d in our everyday lives, and by allowing a spirit of Godliness to permeate our lives. This is exactly how the Rabbanith lived her life. Rabbi Menashe gave an example of how, after the Rabbanith’s passing, a young man told the family that although he never met the Rabbanith, he was once driving his car as she was about to cross the street, and he yielded to her, allowing her to cross. The grateful smile she gave him touched him to the core, and he reported it was an experience he would never forget. This, Rabbi Manasseh concluded, was the Rabbanith’s true greatness, the ability to engage in small acts with so much consideration, love, and respect for the other person.
The Sefer Torah is now housed at Midrash Ben Ish Hai where it is a source of joy and comfort to all congregants there. The Menashe family would like to thank the many friends and supporters of Rabbanith Ruth Menashe for bringing this dream to fruition.