Brooklyn - Mr. Bentzion Chanowitz, a longtime Flatbush resident, has announced the inauguration of the Beis Yisroel Torah Gemach.
Mr. Chanowitz has been involved for over ten years in loaning out Sifrei Torah that he owns and is currently in the process of sponsoring the writing of another Sefer Torah. Mr. Chanowitz is motivated in this holy work by a Gemara (Kesubos, 50:A), where Rav Chisda discusses a verse in Psalms which alludes to wealth and riches being part of a home. Rashi, in his commentary on this Talmudic passage, explains that this pertains to owning and loaning Sifrei Torah.
Mr. Chanowitz created the Beis Yisroel Torah Gemach in an effort to expand his efforts at ensuring that all Jewish institutions have access to Sifrei Torah. The intent is to provide a venue for shuls and private individuals who have new or used Sifrei Torah that are currently not in regular use and to connect them with institutions who need Sifrei Torah for weekly laining. Currently there are twenty one Jewish organizations and shuls that are waiting for primary and secondary Sifrei Torah. These clients require long term placements for primary Sifrei Torah and there many more clients who are requesting placements for secondary Sifrei Torah . Some organizations only need Sifrei Torah on a temporary basis.
The Beis Yisroel Torah Gemach has launched a web site - www.bytg.org - that explains the program and provides contact information. The Gemach acts as “matchmaker” with full contract to facilitate the loan. Some places requesting a Sefer Torah have begun Torah writing campaigns and will only need the Sifrei Torah for a short time. Rabbi Zvi Chaim Pincus, noted sofer from Tiferes Stam, will inspect each Sefer Torah, using computer technology, and prepare it for use.
From Matzav.com, used with permission
Mr. Chanowitz emphasized to Matzav.com that many will benefit in partnering with the Gemach. The primary purpose for owning or having a Torah is for the Torah to be used at krias haTorah. Those who wish to partner with Mr. Chanowitz can ensure that every Jew, wherever he may find himself, will have a kosher Torah at his disposal.
“Everyone I know,” Mr. Chanowitz told Matzav.com, “who travels for business or vacation always looks up the local shul in search of a minyan and kosher food. Now these travelers will have ways of showing their appreciation. We are working with one of the branches of the Chabad shluchim which feeds us information on which location is in need.”
The Gemach allows people who wish to support the work to participate on their own level. Someone who wants to have a Sefer Torah dedicated in memory of a loved one, but can’t afford the price, will be grouped with other people so they can purchase and dedicate a Torah. The Gemach will also cover related costs that are incurred. A Sefer Torah on loan will be provided with transportation, insurance, an on-site safe, and the decorative covering.
Mr. Chanowitz reflected: “The Torah is what binds all people together. I appeal to everyone to open up their hearts and wallets and to give generously to this cause.” Checks may be sent to: Beis Yisroel Torah Gemach, Attention: Bentzion Chanowitz, 1105 East 19th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11230, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.