I was asked to talk, for a brief time ,to a small class of 9 to 11 year olds at our Religious school. I didn't want to frighten the young students, but I did want to tell them about the gem we have in our Holocaust Torah.I meant to
read from a book that I had donated to our library. It is "I am a Holocaust Torah" by Rabbi Alex Goldman. I reread the book and thought that these young students might be frightened by the text. I paraphrased the book. I hope that Rabbi Goldman doesn't mind.
I am a Holocaust Torah
This is the story of how our Holocaust Torah was saved and how it got to Venice, Florida.
I am number 664. You can see my number plate. 1564 Torah’s have been saved. It took 20 years for me to be saved and to feel
All Torah’s are written by hand, with ink and a quill (which is a feather). The man who does the writing is called a SOFER. He studies very long before he is allowed to do the writing. He can not make a mistake. There are no mistakes
in a Torah .Do you know what the first words are in the Torah? They are B’RAYSHIT--in the beginning. The last word is ISRAEL .
Now our Torah is very , very old. She used to be very handsome. Now she has scars, burns and tears. She was not kept
dry. Our Torah, that we have in the case, came from Czechoslovakia. There was a bad time in history when Synagogue’s were being destroyed , Prayer books burnt, and Jewish people sent to live in camps.
Now our Torah will tell her story.
Here is my story of how I was saved. My old Synagogue made plans to hide me, so the German Nazis wouldn’t hurt me. What I didn’t know was that all of the Synagogues were being hurt by the Nazi’s. I wasn’t safe. I was thrown into
a truck along with other Torah’s. I was taken to a storage house, where although I wasn’t hurt, I stayed for over 2o years. I didn’t move ,or see light for all of that time. We felt as if we had slept for years.
One day we heard voices.
English voices. We heard someone say that there were 1564 of us here in the store house. The voices sounded friendly .I waited. I was hopeful , I felt light for the first time in 20 years.
Some time passed and in a month I felt that something was happening.
I was being moved. I was being gently carried, I was on another journey.
I was taken to England, where a wealthy man, paid to have me made clean and ready to go to a Synagogue. The only rule was that I would always belong to the Jewish people. Some
of the torah’s that I shared space in the store house with , were too damaged to be used at services . I am damaged. But that is OK. Because I am safe and people can look at me and remember what happed so many years ago.
I went on another journey
last winter. I went to New Jersey to meet with my sister Torah’s , who came from the same town where I was born.
I had an airplane ticket, with a window seat. I even went first class.
I meet my sister Torah’s and a lady who had been
a child in the town where I lived. She thought that her brother and father may have read from me.
I was so happy meeting my sister Torah’s. The synagogue where we met, was joyful. People sang and came up to see me. I was very proud.
I was flying again, back to Venice, Florida. I don’t mind being in a glass case. I can watch the children and grown ups come in and be safe. It’s all good.
Next time you come into the building wave to me. It is never too late to be reminded
I am a gift to the Jewish people from God.