Sunday 3 September 2017


By Abraham Ben Abraham

In glory of her quiet chambers- surrounded by the best shinning walls - the "Torah" sits behind the white curtains, always clothed in grand beauty. The sun rises in front of her everyday, and by evening disappears across the mountains, sinking below the horizon. 

Hezekiah, and Bar Mitzvah celebrant, & Shumuel
Her presence has always signified hope, strength, and blessings. 
On the days of Shabbath, everyone in the synagogue are thrilled to bits as the Sefer Torah advances to the front of the congregation. How lovely the Jewish songs that fill the air as She makes her way out of the ark, and greeted with countless kisses, with affirmation from the women stand upholding the Torah as the word of truth give by the Creator to the children of Israel. 

Among other spectacular activities during the Torah service are the calling and picking of Aleya, for the reading from the pages of the scrolls.  The handshakes at the end of each reading, as well as the sequence of alternating the readers- all adds to the beauty of the ceremony. And then comes the moment, to pray for any sick in the congregation, then the pronunciation of blessings and success on the people.

But suddenly came the call - a call to serve a bigger purpose. A mission to strengthen and expand the outreach of Judaism through the length of Eastern Nigeria. The opportunity to serve is an honour, both in the sight of Hsshem, the Holy one, and before man. The strength also comes from Him, which is the reason we can align our pathway to work for the good of the whole Israelite, by preaching the truth and spreading the words to various people. 

The invitation to grace the Bar/Bath Mitzvah of Benyamin Okonkwo, Maya Ihencheta, and Emet Ugochukwu in Anambra state, marked the beginning of the journey of the Sefer Torah to eastern Nigeria. The arrival of the Torah from Abuja on the 21st June, 2017 launched us on the road to kindle the faith of our Jewish brothers in the Igbo land, especially in this era of distraction and religious lies trending in the public. 

Since the month of June, the Torah has been touring several synagogues in three states. Bellow is a record of the places so far visited: 

Avishai Synagogue

The Bar Mitzvah ceremony is the enrollment into the active and responsible Jewishness of young Jewish children. The Avishai synagogue, located in Nkpor in Anambra state invited brethren of the Tikvat Israel Synagogue Abuja to attend this glorious Jewish occasion. The occasion was a memorable one, as it witnessed the gathering of leaders of different synagogues, the college of Chazans, Jewish mothers, Jewish youths, and other invited guests. 

Divine Seed Synagogue
The next stop for the "traveling Torah" was the Divine Seed Synagogue in Neni, Anambra state. This historic visit was applauded by the members of the synagogue, as the occasion is the second visit of the Sefer Torah to their synagogue. On that day, a paper was presented by Mr. Eliada Chukwuma Ozoemena on the "Sin of Idolatry, the exile, and the return of the Jews."

Ohav Shalom Synagogue
Ohav  shalom synagogue is located in Obosi, Anambra state. When the lovely members of this synagogue learned that the Sefer Torah had come down all the long way from Abuja, across the river Niger; they sought to utilize this wonderful opportunity. Upon their invitation, the Sefer Torah was brought to their synagogue for a special service on a Monday. It was indeed a remarkable meeting, as the members were filled with great enthusiasm how a typical Torah service is being conducted in the Jewish way.

The Visit to Delta State
Once again, the Torah embarked on another journey, going across the river Niger, into Asaba the capital of Delta state. The occasion was a Bar Mitzvah that took place in the Rock of Ages Restoration Synagogue. Members and friends invited for the ceremony were truly excited for the presence of the Torah in their midst. The occasion witnessed a full house and a  lot of other activities which made it quite a memorable one. 

Beney Yisrael Synagogue 
The Beney Yisrael Synagogue is located in the heart of the town of Nnewi. When the Sefer Torah arrived there, during a combined service with all leaders and representatives of several synagogues, it was certainly the peak of the tour! This general meeting was symbolic and all members were reminded of their responsibility to continue to uphold the Jewish faith, strengthening one another, and abiding by the laws of the Torah as Hashem has commanded. 

Shortly after the Torah service, there was a book presentation and distribution to all the synagogues represented. The books includes copies of the JPS Bible, other Jewish books, and the encyclopedia Judaical. These books were long donated by Howard Gorin, David Tobis, and through the support of Rabbi Wayne Franklin. 

The Palace of the KIng
On the 17th of July, Sar Habakkuk lead a small delegation to pay a courtesy visit to His Royal Highness, King of Nnewi, Igwe Kenneth Onyemaeke Orizu III. 

Igwe Kenneth Onyemaeke Orizu III.

The Majesty, the king had requested for the Torah's visit in his palace. He expressed his joy to honour the visit, following unforgettable memories of the Igwe's visit to Jerusalem a few years ago. There was a call to preach and spread the Jewish religion across the length of the Igbo land, and for parents to make more efforts to teach their younger children about this one true religion.

During the visit, there was the usual breaking of the kola-nut according to the customs and tradition in the igboland. Sar Habakkuk was given the honour to perform the kola-nut ritual and he later took the stage to address the audience about the mission of their "Keruv." He thanked the king for honoring the visit of the Jewish brethren to the nnewi palace.

King of Glory Yahudim Synagogues
This synagogue is located in Inyaba Umudim village, in Nnewi North local government area of Anambra state. The Torah visited the brethren there, who expressed massive support to continue to strenghten the course of Judaism starting from their immediate surrounding, and spreading the word of truth to get more people involved. 

Shabbath Keeping in Ebonyi State
Last shabbath, on the 27th of August, the Sefer Torah was in Beit Ya'akov synagogue in Ebonyi State. The synagogue is located in the small town of Ezamgbo, just at the outskirt of the capital in Abakaliki. The brethren had learned about the "traveling Torah," and requested for the presence of the Torah in their midst for the Shabbath worship. Hezekiah, the chief Chazan of Tikvat Israel Synagogue Abuja with another chazan traveled from Anambra state to Ebonyi state to grant the wishes of these Jewish brothers, in line with the ultimate goal of strengthening the Judaism network in eastern Nigeria. 

The tour around the east has restored more hope to the Jewish Igbos in eastern Nigeria. This is because Torah is the truth, and the light that shines brightly to show us the path to Glory, bringing us closer to Hashem, the Creator. 

Today, as the Torah currently sits in Her ark inside Avishai Synagogue in Nkpor, away from home- she has been put into active use. The brethren took it upon themselves to hold Torah service every Monday and Thursday morning, before going out for their daily businesses. The end result is series of testimonies and changing features in the spiritual strenght of many brethren. 

We owe our profound gratitude to Kulanu for their support and commitment to ensuring the growth of Judaism in Nigeria, and around the African continent. David Tobis, will forever be remembered for sponsoring the coming of the Torah to Abuja. The installation was made by Rabbi Dolinger and his wife Naomi, who were accompanied by Shai Afsai, in the presence of the former Israel ambassador to Nigeria, Uriel Palti. No doubt, the bringing of the Torah has readily become a catalyst to extend the outreach of our "keruv" across the Igbo land. 

2014: Israel Ambassador, J. Davidson, B. Dolinger, Naomi
2013: David Tobis & Sar Habakkuk

Indeed, the journey to the east was a successful one, that gave us the chance to show our faith in the open, encouraging many others to follow this path of truth, and creating meaningful awareness of Judaism among the Igbo people. As we approach the end of the Jewish year, I would love to encourage all our Jewish brothers to remain steadfast and use this period to reconcile with the Holy One of Israel. So that the coming year will yield maximum return in all our works and endeavors. There is nothing absolutely impossible for Our Father in Heaven to do.

Sar Habakkuk reiterated that "the Sefer Torah is now certainly not for the Tikvat Israel Synagogue Abuja alone, but for the whole Jewish synagogues in eastern Nigeria. 


  1. Truly a wonderful presentation. I was excited to see the Jewish Encyclopedia as I donated it to your community through Rabbi Gorin some years ago. So pleased that it is in use. Blessings!

    1. Thank you Judy!
      We are so excited for your donation. You need to see the excitement in the faces of the beneficiaries of the Encyclopedia. We are grateful indeed!

  2. Yashar Koach. More power to you! I look forward to spending the Yom Kippur holiday with you.

    1. WOw! That will be wonderful, Lucy. We look forward to having a great time with you! Shalom!

  3. Rosh contact number of king of glory yahudim synagogue in inyaba umudim nnewi. I want to join pls

  4. My contact is 08068117315. I want to join pls