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"Rising from the ashes" - Chabad of Tallahassee receives new Torah, a year after it was lost to fire

'Rising from the ashes': Chabad of Tallahassee receives new Torah, a year after it was lost to fire
Posted at 6:18 PM, Oct 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-10 18:24:11-04
  • Chabad of Tallahassee received its new Torah on Tuesday.
  • They held a double-dedication event to commemorate the new Torah and its new temporary building on the site of its old home.
  • Watch now to hear Rabbi Oirechman describe how important this moment is for Tallahassee's Jewish community.


"The best way to respond to darkness is with light."

And now a light shines on this place of worship. I'm Alberto Camargo, your Collegetown neighborhood reporter. It's been almost a year and a half since an accidental fire destroyed the Chabad house, the fixture of Tallahassee's Jewish community. And with minds elsewhere at the moment, a chance to celebrate has come. The Chabad has finally received it's new Torah, a symbol of how the community is...

"Rising out of the ashes."

That's Rabbi Oirechman. Even as a leader in the faith, he too has felt overwhelmed with emotion in the last few days.

"I had my moments of crying, I had my moments when ever I try to think about what happened. I'm just dysfunctional."

But the day has come to celebrate a new beginning. The Chabad held a special ceremony Tuesday at Florida's Capitol to inaugurate it's new Torah. The Rabbi explained to me just how special the new scroll is.

"It feels a little bit like a rebirth, you could say."

But most importantly of all...

"It's a ray of light in this great darkness that we are experiencing right now."

As Israel comes under attack over six thousand miles away...

That's the message he's relaying to his people. Focusing on the light.

"Because this is the only way and that's why we're focusing on this celebration, despite of what's happening."

And to the wider Tallahassee community... a call to action.

"Ask yourself the question, what is the good action, good deed that I could do to make the world a better place, and go and do it."

The second part of the Chabad's double-dedication is for this new temporary building at the site of the old house. In Collegetown, Alberto Camargo, ABC27.