The Chabad of Poway congregation gathered Wednesday night to honor Lori Gilbert Kaye, the 60-year-old woman who sacrificed her own life to spare others when a shooter opened fire in their synagogue.
The touching tribute to Kaye came in the form of a dedicated Torah scroll. The Torah scroll is Judaism’s most sacred object.
Wednesday marked the end of the traditional mourning period. Friends and survivors of last month's mass shooting gathered for the dedication and a celebration of Kaye's life.
The scroll, carried by Kaye's husband, was paraded up Chabad Way under a canopy, which is tradition. Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who credited Kaye’s bravery for the preservation of his own life, spoke at the ceremony.
He described Kaye as a kind and loving soul who was beloved among the congregation.
“We are going to take this Torah out every Shabbat. It’s going to be marched all around the shul, we are all going to touch the Torah and blow Lori a kiss, she’s going to feel our love, she’s going to feel our connection to the Torah and our connection to her,” Rabbi Goldstein said.
The scribe inked the Torah scroll in the same tradition in which it's been done for 3,300 years. The ceremony ended with street dancing to celebrate Kaye's life.
Shooting survivors were also honored with an inscribed letter in the Torah scroll, and first responders were also given a special mention.