Photos: Baltimore’s Mercaz Torah U’Tefilah (MTT) Celebrates Hachnasas Sefer Torah and Chanukas Habayis


After four years of planning, fundraising and construction, Sunday the 2nd of Nisan April 10th, was a day that many in the Baltimore community were anxiously awaiting. It was the day that Mercaz Torah U’tefillah (MTT) under the leadership of HaRav Yissocher Dov Eichenstein, would be inaugurating their new Torah Center, their new Mikdash M’at. This would coincide with a Hachnasas Sefer Torah for a Torah donated by Dr. and Mrs. Josh Steiner.

For the mispallelim of MTT the celebration began a little earlier than expected. On Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Nissan, Parshas Hachodesh, before chazaras hashatz of shacharis , the Rav surprised the kehilla by announcing that the rest of davening would take place in the new building. The shul’s Sifrei Torah were danced joyously to the new building and placed in the beautiful Aron Kodesh. Davening continued with hartzig tefillos and an inspirational Hallel led by R’ Zevi Daniel and accompanied by the MTT Kapellia.

All day Sunday the simcha was palpable as the final touches were put in place for the gala event. A dedicated committee of men and women led by R’ Eli Klein and Mrs. Dena Sondhelm respectively, worked diligently to ensure that the event would be beautiful and enjoyable for the men women and children of the community. In addition to many Baltimore rabbanim the community was privileged to host many distinguished rabbanim who travelled great distances to participate in the simcha including; the Novomisker Rebbe, The Zidichoiver Rebbe of Chicago, The Seagater Rav , and Rav Yaakov Eliyahu Unsdorfer the Rav of Kehillas Reishis Chochma of Montreal. After the final ois was written the Sefer Torah was brought with great simcha to the waiting crowd by Dr. Steiner accompanied by the many distinguished guests.

R’ Shmuel Glassman of S Glassman Events had everything perfectly choreographed to ensure a beautiful procession back to the new MTT building. The boys of the community were lined up holding torches, the rolling chupah was beautifully decorated and leibidik nigunnim blared from the Sefer Torah truck. The beautiful neginah of Lazer Kish and Yoely Ackerman of Mezamrim accompanied by the MTT Kappellia inspired the crowds of men, women, children, and distinguished rabbanim as the Sefer Torah was escorted to the new MTT building.

The program continued at the shul where the men and women partook in a seudas mitzvah and the children were entertained by Rabbi Yitzy Erps. The program began with a Siyum on Pesachim, and continued with inspirational divrei bracha ‘and hodaah in honor of the momentous occasion. The Rav expressed his heartfelt thanks to the dedicated shul askanim, Aryeh Gross, Yanky Statman and David Meir Loeb, who worked tirelessly over the past four years to bring the building to fruition. The sage words of the rabbonim who spoke, including the Zidichover and Novomisker Rebbes , helped inspire the kehillah to continue to strive for growth in Torah, Avodah and Chesed. It was a majestic day, one that will not soon be forgotten by all who attended.

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