June 15, 1997 |
With black letters on aging gray parchment, the wood-handled scroll appears to have come straight from Mount Sinai. In spirit, say leaders of Shir Ami Congregation, it did. "It is the original," said Rabbi Gedaliah Druin, a scribe who just finished restoring the synagogue's Torah scroll, one of many such documents to survive the Holocaust. Members of the congregation paraded the Torah scroll, which contains the five books of Moses, through the streets of Newtown last week to mark the end of the yearlong restoration project.
December 23, 1990 |
That giant Christmas card that Resorts International Casino sent to the American troops in the Middle East? That was nothing. Wimpy. It was only 325 square feet, for pete's sake. How many signatures could you get on that? But the scroll signed by patrons of restaurants, taverns and bars around Delaware County, now that meant business. A big, fat roll with 2,500 square feet of names and greetings, it kicked the butt of that casino card eight times over. "They were saying their card was the biggest," Mike DeMeglio, owner of the Red Eye Tavern in Springfield, said, scoffing at the competition from Atlantic City.
March 19, 1992 |
The Nazis planned to include it in a museum exhibit chronicling an exterminated race. A stint in a damp Prague basement decayed it. A 1977 fire almost consumed it. But Holocaust Torah Scroll No. 348, which may have been written as far back as the 12th century, has now been restored - a job that took two years for the only rabbi in the Philadelphia area qualified to do it. And the handwritten scroll, which contains what is believed to be...
April 26, 1987 |
Now tattered and indecipherable, the scroll once was held high every Sabbath and read aloud to tell the story of a people who were persecuted and survived. But the listeners did not survive. The 550-year-old Jewish community in Pisek, Czechoslovakia, was virtually wiped out in 1942, when the Nazis invaded the small town 40 miles south of Prague. And that is why Congregation Beth Emeth-B'nai Yitzhok has chosen Sunday, the day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust, to dedicate its newly acquired Torah scroll as a memorial to those who died, said Rabbi Herman Horowitz.
October 18, 1987 |
For Jews, this is the season of new beginnings. September rang in the new year, Rosh Hashanah. Then came Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement from the old year. On Thursday, congregations in the Northeast and elsewhere marked another milestone - Simchat Torah, a day to give thanks for the Torah, also known as the five books of Moses, and to read the last scheduled passage for the year and to begin a new cycle. But for one congregation, the occasion was more memorable than usual.
January 18, 2010 |
The prayers of the world might be focused on Haiti, but Jewish tradition says God was paying special attention yesterday to a little rowhouse synagogue on South Fourth Street. "May all your prayers be answered," Torah scribe Menachem Youlus said each time he extended his ink-stained hand to the men and women departing the open Torah scroll at Congregation Shivtei Yeshuron Ezras Israel. More than 50 had come to ritually ink in a letter of the restored scroll, but few seemed prepared for the emotion of the moment.
April 7, 2013 |
The two West Chester University graduates were in a Warsaw hotel lobby late one afternoon in May 2012 when they were told of an antiques shop in an old neighborhood. "It was a shop that carried a mixture of Judaica and Nazi paraphernalia," Hilary Bentman said last week. An odd mix. But in the early evening, she and Hadassah DeJack went there. The Christian shopkeeper, whose grandparents had hidden Jews during World War II, asked if they would like to see a section of a Torah rescued from the Nazi occupation.
March 2, 1990 |
Cantor Edmond A. Kulp held the Torah spindles and deftly rolled the scroll, first right, then left and back again with the quick motion he has learned over a lifetime of reading sacred Scriptures. At last he smiled. "This is definitely one of them," Kulp announced yesterday at the Lower Merion police station. Then he turned a second Torah in the same way and claimed it, too. "I can tell by the weight, by the print. I'm the one who reads them," he said. And so, Kulp, cantor for Congregation Beth Judah in Ventnor, N.J., had identified two of 15 Torahs stolen between Feb. 4 and last weekend in Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey and recovered Wednesday by police in New York City.
December 19, 1998 |
A key witness in the murder case against Rabbi Fred J. Neulander filed a complaint with Cherry Hill police yesterday, alleging that the rabbi had swindled him by selling him a flawed Torah for $16,000 four years ago. Myron "Pep" Levin told police he had asked Rabbi Neulander to purchase a Torah - a sacred hand-lettered scroll containing the first five books of the Old Testament - in honor of Levin's late wife, Reta. Levin then donated the Torah to Rabbi Neulander's Cherry Hill synagogue, M'kor Shalom.