Torah Dedication Sephardi Style
A new Torah was dedicated on Sunday at Congregation Etz Ahaim, a Sephardi Orthodox synagogue in Highland Park, New Jersey. Sephardim read the Torah with the Torah scroll in an upright position, whereas Ashkenazim read the Torah scrolls placed flat on the bimah (raised platform). So the Torah cases of the Sephardim are made out of fancy metal, and the Ashkenaz ones are typically embroidered cloth.
The happy occasion was in honor of a bat-mitzvah; the bat-mitzvah girl conducted the dedication, along with her grandmother. It was a lovely community affair, and children were in attendance, including some who got rather sleepy (such as my daughter) because the ceremony was happening at their bedtimes. When they brought out all the Torah scrolls, the children woke up, with all the lively singing and dancing.