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Torah

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NEWS
September 6, 1996 | by Ron Avery, Daily News Staff Writer
A new Jewish congregation is scheduled to hold its first service tonight in a suburban church, but ownership of its torah has become the object of a lawsuit. The new congregation, Temple Isaiah, grew out of the ashes of Temple Zion, of Huntingdon Valley, a synagogue so wracked by controversy that it disbanded last spring after 39 years and sold its synagogue on Pine Road. The synagogue's corporate entity filed suit in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court demanding that Temple Zion's former spiritual leader, Rabbi Daniel Parker, return a torah, a piece of needlepoint and a fax machine.
NEWS
September 19, 1988 | New York Daily News
Two boys were charged yesterday with burning six sacred Torah scrolls and painting 15 swastikas on the walls of a Brooklyn synagogue, an attack that ignited an explosion of anger and mourning among Orthodox Jews and other New Yorkers. Grieving members of Congregation Rabbinical Institute Sharai Torah held a funeral for the destroyed Torahs, hand-lettered parchment scrolls that contain the Five Books of Moses and embody Jewish law and custom. The scrolls, revered as the holiest objects in Judaism, were then buried in a New Jersey cemetery.
NEWS
August 6, 1987 | By L. Stuart Ditzen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Twenty-nine years after he lent his family Torah to a Huntingdon Valley synagogue, and four years after the synagogue refused to return it, Meyer Neff finally seems to have won an unusual court fight for possession of the sacred Jewish scroll. An arbitration committee of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Philadelphia has ruled that the synagogue, Temple Zion, must return "a Torah to the Neff family," but not necessarily the same Torah that Neff's grandfather carefully inscribed by hand 100 years ago in Russia.
NEWS
January 8, 1999 | By Kate Campbell, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Teaching Jewish women and men that the ancient Hebrew Scriptures hold lessons that can be applied to modern-day life will be the focus of a weekend seminar at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel led by Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell. Reading the Scriptures was once considered to be a privilege reserved only for Jewish men, said Rabbi Elwell, assistant director of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations' Pennsylvania Council and a frequent speaker on Jewish women's history, spirituality and healing.
NEWS
October 7, 1990 | By Patrick Scott, Special to The Inquirer
Softly and with a sacred touch, the congregants pressed their crimped ceremonial shawls and prayer books to the Torah, then to their lips, as the scroll was carried down the synagogue's center aisle. Wrapped in a maroon cover with a yellow Star of David patch, the scrolled scriptures appeared in marked contrast to the elaborately covered and silver- crowned Torahs also in procession beneath the room's gleaming chandeliers. It had been nearly five decades since the simply covered Czech Memorial Scroll, seized by the Nazis from a Prague synagogue in 1942, had been surrounded by Jews gathered on the eve of Yom Kippur.
NEWS
October 4, 1990 | By Patrick Scott, Special to The Inquirer
Softly and with a sacred touch, the congregants pressed their crimped ceremonial shawls and prayer books to the Torah, then to their lips, as the scroll was carried down the synagogue's center aisle. Wrapped in a maroon cover with a yellow Star of David patch, the scrolled scriptures appeared in marked contrast to the elaborately covered and silver- crowned Torahs also in procession beneath the room's gleaming chandeliers. It had been nearly five decades since the simply covered Czech Memorial Scroll, seized by the Nazis from a Prague synagogue in 1942, had been surrounded by Jews gathered on the eve of Yom Kippur.
NEWS
March 23, 1998 | By Douglas Belkin, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
"Hava Negila" was in the third verse, the temperature was 34 degrees, and Howard Stulman was leaning on his walker and dancing. "The feet still have it," said Stulman, 80. "But the spine isn't what it used to be. " The sentiment, however, hasn't changed. Not in a few thousand years. Congregation Ohev Shalom welcomed a new Torah to its synagogue yesterday with a 1,000-person parade down Second Street and all the nachus of a new grandparent showing off a wallet full of snapshots.
NEWS
June 15, 1997 | By Todd Bishop, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
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.
NEWS
April 14, 2000 | By Cynthia J. McGroarty, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Just in time for Passover, Congregation Beth El in Yardley has acquired a new Torah for its synagogue. The Torah was given to Beth El by member Randall Flager to honor the 50th wedding anniversary of his parents, Andy and Renee Flager. It will be dedicated May 6, church officials said. The Torah, the sacred book of Judaism, contains the Five Books of Moses, which serve as a religious and moral code. Jews believe God revealed the books to Moses on Mount Sinai after the exodus from Egypt.
NEWS
May 1, 2012 | By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer
About 8 p.m. on Feb. 2, 1988, David Sheinson answered the phone. "Your synagogue is on fire!" his neighbor cried. Sheinson ran out of his apartment and around the block to find fire engines dousing a four-alarm blaze at Temple Sholom, where he and his family had been among the founding members in 1941. Along with a radio reporter and a firefighter, Sheinson, recalled Sunday, he sloshed through knee-deep water and rescued the congregation's Torahs, the handwritten sacred scrolls containing the first five books of the Jewish Bible.
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TRAVEL
March 17, 2014 | By Sea Kaplan, For The Inquirer
At the end of July I had the unexpected pleasure of taking a river cruise in Russia with a friend. This was exciting - my mother was from Zvenyhorodka, a town north of Kiev in the Ukraine, my father from a suburb south of Kiev. The cruise started out in St. Petersburg and wound up in Moscow. On a scheduled bus trip in Moscow, we went to the Museum of the Jewish History in Russia, the only Jewish museum and Holocaust memorial in the country. When we got to the museum, the men were laying tefillin - wearing black boxes on their foreheads containing verses from the Torah that serve as a reminder of God's intervention during the Exodus from Egypt - so we were ushered upstairs to the balcony for the service.
NEWS
April 14, 2013 | BY BECKY BATCHA, Daily News Staff Writer batchab@phillynews.com, 215-854-5757
THREE DECADES after the last Jewish congregation in West Philly left for the Main Line, a new one is growing in a neighborhood that once held a vibrant Jewish community of synagogues, shops and, of course, bakeries. Congregation Kol Tzedek's creation story goes back to the mid-2000s, when rabbi-in-training Lauren Grabelle Herrmann began talking up the idea of starting a congregation in the neighborhood. "When I mentioned it, my neighbor on Farragut Street said, 'I have the menorah from the last synagogue in West Philadelphia.' " (That would be Congregation Beth Hamedrosh-Beth Jacob, which was a holdout into the '80s at 60th and Larchwood)
NEWS
April 7, 2013 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
  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.
NEWS
August 29, 2012 | By Sally A. Downey, Inquirer Staff Writer
William Linenberg, 94, of Langhorne, a retired salesman, Torah reader and educator who was awarded a Bronze Star for Valor during World War II, died Wednesday, Aug. 22, of myelofibrosis, a blood disease, at his home. Mr. Linenberg graduated from West Philadelphia High School in 1935 and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was on the wrestling team. In 1941, he enlisted in the Navy and was assigned to the aircraft carrier Bunker Hill as a gunnery officer.
NEWS
May 1, 2012 | By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer
About 8 p.m. on Feb. 2, 1988, David Sheinson answered the phone. "Your synagogue is on fire!" his neighbor cried. Sheinson ran out of his apartment and around the block to find fire engines dousing a four-alarm blaze at Temple Sholom, where he and his family had been among the founding members in 1941. Along with a radio reporter and a firefighter, Sheinson, recalled Sunday, he sloshed through knee-deep water and rescued the congregation's Torahs, the handwritten sacred scrolls containing the first five books of the Jewish Bible.
NEWS
April 19, 2012 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
The last time Torah No. 586 was read during services probably was a few days before the Jews from a small town in Czechoslovakia were rounded up and sent to a Nazi concentration camp. The sacred scroll was one of 1,564 left in Czech synagogues when the people who used them were taken away to die. But Thursday, the 130-year-old Torah from the town of Lipník nad Becvou will be rededicated at the Martins Run senior living community in Marple Township while a survivor who read from it during his bar mitzvah watches via Skype from the Czech Republic.
NEWS
April 6, 2012 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two days before the festival that celebrates the Jews' freedom from slavery, a class at Mishkan Shalom synagogue in Philadelphia burned pieces of paper that symbolized their liberation from another kind of bondage. They were private confessions, written on notes of paper. Rabbi Yael Levy set the fire to mark each person's transformation to a new place that would start during Passover, which begins at sundown Friday. The group was preparing for a ritual called Counting the Omer, a practice that begins on the second day of Passover and continues for 49 days.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2012 | By Sally Friedman, For The Inquirer
It was a simple walk from her seat to the front of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, a New York City synagogue. But when 12-year-old Judith Kaplan was summoned by her rabbi father to read from her Bible and recite some blessings, the act was revolutionary. On a March Saturday in 1922, two years after women in America got the right to vote, Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan broke tradition. He had, in essence, held a coming-of-age ceremony for his daughter, what boys at 13 had celebrated for centuries.
NEWS
January 27, 2011 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
Steven Greenberg was a 20-year-old Orthodox rabbinic student from Ohio, studying in Jerusalem, when he realized his affections were "ripping me apart. " So he visited a sage, an esteemed interpreter of Jewish law. "Master, I am attracted to both men and women," he told Rabbi Yosef Sholom Eliashiv. "What shall I do?" The ultra-Orthodox Eliashiv's answer came as a surprise. "My dear one, my friend, you have twice the power of love," the aged rabbi told him. "Use it carefully.
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