The winners of Yad L'Achim's eighth annual sefer Torah raffle, held last Thursday, the third of Sivan, were Ariel and Oranit Sadeh of Petach Tikvah.
The raffle, whose proceeds go to help Yad L'Achim battle missionaries and rescue Jewish women and children from Arab villages, was supervised by accountant Menachem Ackerman of Petach Tikvah. It is traditionally held on erev Shavuos, when the Jewish people celebrate the receiving of the Torah at Sinai.
Emotions ran high as the names of the winners appeared on the computer screen and Yad L'Achim spokesman Shlomo Riesel phoned the Sadeh family to notify them of the good news.
Their immediate reaction was skepticism: "We've never won any lottery," they said. "Are you pulling our leg?"
Only after a picture of the accountant alongside the computer screen displaying their names as the winners was sent to them did they realize that they had won, and they were overcome by joy.
An emotional Ariel said that this Shavuos he and his wife had merited to receive the Torah twice. "We need to come back down to earth and think about which shul to bring the sefer Torah to in memory our loved ones. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making the dream of a lifetime come true. Like every Jew, we always dreamed of being able to dedicate a sefer Torah but we knew that for regular people like us it would always remain a dream."
Rabbi Yosef Ganz, director general of Yad L'Achim, said: "We want to thank the thousands who participated in the lottery, all of whom became winners the minute they bought their tickets and became our partners in expanding our rescue work. Their support enables us to bring back more and more Jewish souls from Arab villages, and prevent intermarriage and assimilation."