Some mitzvos are done daily, some weekly, and others, once a year. But this inspiring picture book for young children focuses on a mitzvah that can be fulfilled once in a lifetime!
“When I was a baby, so cute and so small,
I got a great gift, the most special of all!
Can you guess what it was?
What could my gift be?”
Each and every Jew is charged with writing a Sefer Torah. It is a mitzvah obligation to this very day, and something that even a young child can accomplish by owning one letter in a Sefer Torah. What an excitement and love of Torah this cultivates! What better way to unite all Jews and to embrace their participation this precious mitzvah? The young brother and sister in the book are so proud of having one holy letter of their own, and a certificate that tells them the Parsha in which their letter is found. Beautiful, action-packed illustrations bring the characters to life!
My Very Own Letter
Written by Zalmy Hecht illustrated by Chani Judowitz
ISBN: 978-1-929628-89-6 / LCCN: 2016940748
Hardcover / Laminated pages / Ages 2-5 / List Price $10.95
Publication Date; August 2016
Note to Parents and Teachers
Standing at the edge of Eretz Yisroel, just before his passing, Moshe Rabbeinu was commanded by Hashem to write a Sefer Torah. And now, write for yourselves this song, and teach it to the Children of Israel. (Devorim 31:19) These words teach us that it is not just a mitzvah for Moshe himself to write a Torah, but for all the Jewish people in all future generations.
The Rambam, in his Sefer HaMitzvos counts the writing of a Sefer Torah as Positive Mitzvah 18 in the count of 613 mitzvos. It remains an obligation to this very day.
Many great Halachic authorities have discussed the most practical way to fulfill this difficult and costly mitzvah. They have ruled that just as a Torah can become disqualified through one missing letter, so too, each letter has the ability to qualify it, making the holy Torah scroll complete and kosher. In other words, just through buying and commissioning the writing of one letter, it is considered as if one has fulfilled the mitzvah of writing an entire Torah!
What a perfect metaphor for the Jewish People! Each individual is a unique and precious, and when we are united, Hashem showers us with blessing.
To encourage Jews around the world to take part in this important mitzvah, the Lubavitcher Rebbe initiated a global Torah Campaign in the spring of 1981. The idea was to unite all Jewish children under the ages of bar and bas mitzvah by having each of them purchase one letter in a Sefer Torah. (Since that time, it’s become customary for parents to purchase a letter for each child as soon as he or she is born, and Unity Torah scrolls were initiated for adults as well.)
Each letter cost one dollar, and the Rebbe suggested that girls and boys make the purchase from their “own” money. To date, over 3 million Jewish Children have registered in five special Children’s Sefer Torahs and a sixth is underway. Those letters represent Jewish children from all over the world, with diverse customs and a variety of experiences, all unified in the creation of a holy Torah.
The completed Torahs are kept in the Tzemach Tzedek Shul in Jerusalem, one of the oldest synagogues in the Holy City.
The Children’s Torah Campaign is still very active and welcomes everyone to join. To take part in this beautiful mitzvah, you can visit www.KidsTorah.org or call 011 – 972-3-9607-358 to register your child. Each participant will receive a certificate stating the Parsha in which their letter is written.
A Unity Torah opportunity is also available for adults, and more information can be found by visiting Chabad.org or contacting your local Rabbi.
May the merit of this Mitzvah bring the greatest blessing to us all, the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu!