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Holocaust Scroll #1392

Protected inside the Ark of Congregation Beth Ahabah is Holocaust Memorial Torah #1392. It is one of the 1,564 Torahs that were discovered in Prague at the end of World War II.

During the years 1939 to 1945, the Nazis gathered Torah scrolls and other art objects and stored them in the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague. This synagogue, built in 1535, had been turned into a storehouse for stolen Judaica. These items were to be exhibited in a National Museum of “the works of an exterminated ethnological group.” In 1964, the scrolls were taken to the Westminster Synagogue in London, England, where scribes examined, repaired and restored them. The Memorial Scrolls Trust was established to distribute the Czech scrolls to synagogues and organizations around the world. Congregation Beth Ahabah is proud to have been entrusted with the loan of this precious Torah.

This Czech scroll is a silent witness to the atrocities of World War II. It is a survivor. The scroll was written in 1820 by scribe David Lipin. It was used in the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague. Beth Ahabah dedicated the scroll on April 19, 1974 after almost a year of preparation, which included the commissioning of a Crown and Breastplate to replicate the original silver that once adorned this Torah.

The current Torah mantle was dedicated during Yom Hashoah services on April 12, 2002. It was created by Elsa Wachs, an internationally known artist. The arms of a survivor are depicted courageously reaching for God. The Hebrew letters proclaim “Am Yisrael Chai,” – The People of Israel Live. Rosebuds at the top symbolize life, hope and beauty and affirm the continuity of Jewish light and life.

Tue, July 16 2019 13 Tammuz 5779