May 1, 2012 |
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.
June 22, 1999 |
At first glance, the 10 men gathered around piles of oversize books, trading questions and flipping quickly through the ornate pages, could easily be mistaken for a group of English scholars deciphering Yeats, or mathematicians cracking some long-unsolved theorem. After all, office parks like the one in which a small, Orthodox congregation in Bensalem goes to synagogue are more often home to doctors and lawyers than groups of highly advanced Jewish scholars. But eventually the passionate and often melodic cadence of Hebrew and English moving back and forth in the large, gray-walled room reveals the true nature of the group.
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.
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.
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.
February 11, 1993 |
The Torah - the first five books of the Old Testament - constitutes the heart of Judaism. Unlike the Christian Bible, which is commonly translated into pictures, the Torah exists for Jews as text. A pictorial Torah seems improbable until you see one, and then it looks perfectly natural. You can discover this for yourself at the Philadelphia Museum of Judaism at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, where a suite of 44 paintings by New York artist Archie Rand is on view through April 17. They're called the Chapter Paintings because the full suite represents the 54 weekly portions of the Torah (the Hebrew year has 54 weeks)
January 13, 2002 |
"Your servant Yaakov is behind us," saith one Torah translation. "Your servant Jacob himself is right behind us," saith another. And a third: "Here is your servant Jacob, behind us as well. " For a timeless text, the Jewish Bible has recently had a bumper crop of new translations and commentaries. Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary, The Five Books of Moses: The Schocken Bible Volume 1 by Everett Fox, and Commentary on the Torah by Richard Friedman are refreshing the way Jews think about sacred text.
August 19, 1996 |
Cheeks stretched, face reddening, Karen Neff blew into the ram's horn without effect. "Purse your lips," advised Charles Salinger, putting aside his clarinet to demonstrate. Neff blew again, emitting a satisfying bleat that pierced the Sunday morning quiet in the canyon of Walnut Street. "I did it!" Neff exclaimed. "Oh wow. " With that, Rabbi Rayzel Raphael commanded the members of congregation Leyv Ha-ir (Heart of the City) to resume their parade: "We march!" For Rabbi Raphael and her tiny Reconstructionist congregation, yesterday was moving day, the day to carry their 80-year-old Torah from their former base - a basement classroom at Temple University's Center City campus - to their new home at the Gershman Jewish Community Center.
May 3, 1999 |
Rabbi Isaac Leizerowski, a Hebrew scribe, demonstrates the art of restoring a Torah at Har Zion Temple in Lower Merion. He taught a class on scribal art to children in the synagogue using a kosher quill and ink, and the students practiced with the quill. The synagogue offers the lesson each year.
January 27, 2011 |
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.