Tsemach 1The levaya of Aaron Sholom Tepfer, a 10-year old talmid of Yeshiva Darchei Torah who was suddenly niftar last year mere days before the start of the school year, was a heartrending event. Speaker after speaker described the remarkable maturity and concern for others that Aaron Sholom possessed. Grown men cried uninhibitedly as the Yeshiva and community absorbed this difficult blow.

In the days, weeks and months following his passing, relatives, rabbeim, friends and even total strangers have transformed their grief into inspiration, undertaking a variety of initiatives in Aaron Sholom’s memory that serve as an aliyah for his neshama as well as impetuses for personal improvement. One of these projects is about to reach its culmination.

Yitzy Berko, now a seventh grader, was a classmate of Aaron Sholom. One day he came up with an idea: What better way to perpetuate the memory and legacy of his friend, who loved to learn Torah, than with a Sefer Torah? The Torah would be written as a zchus for Aaron Sholom and when completed would be housed in the Aron Kodesh of the Junior High School, where it would be used by the boys in their minyan for many years to come.

In an emotional appeal to his fellow talmidim, Yitzy Berko explained: “Fifty years from now, in this beis medrash, a boy is going to ask his rebbi, ‘When was this Sefer Torah given?’ The rebbi is going to say, ‘the whole entire Junior High School decided to raise [funds] for a Sefer Torah in Aaron Sholom’s zchus.’”

Doing some quick math, Yitzy realized that to reach his goal of raising $54,000, all he needed was for 1,000 families to contribute an average of 54 dollars! The campaign, spearheaded by Sgan Menahel Rav Avrohom Bender is nearly complete; the Sefer Torah was written in Eretz Yisrael; and a Hachnasas Sefer Torah is planned for this coming Sunday, September 14th.

The events will begin at the Tepfer home, 376 Rugby Road, Cedarhurst, NY, from 12:00 noon until 3:00 with the inscription of the final letters of the Sefer Torah. At 3:40 the festivities will resume at 12-14 Heyson Road, Far Rockaway, NY, for the Hachnasas Sefer Torah procession to the Yeshiva.

For more information, or to contribute, please contact Rabbi Avrohom Bender at 347.254.0155 or abender@darchei.org.



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