Holocaust-era Torah scroll fragments returned to Jewish hands

Remnants of Torah scrolls, which were used around the time of the Holocaust in Poland, were returned to Jewish hands after seven decades.

Sheets of a Torah scroll used around the time of the Holocaust in a Polish city were returned to Jewish hands this week.

The decision to return the sheets, which include passages from the book of Genesis, was made after Israel Hayom reported on a 1925 medallion found in Poland. The medallion, issued to mark the inauguration of Hebrew University of Jerusalem, features a Star of David and Hebrew writing.

A Polish woman saw the translated article and told From the Depths, an Israeli organization dedicated to Holocaust remembrance and education, that her grandmother in Miedzyrzec Podlaski, Poland, possessed an item that could have Jewish significance.

“She showed me this surviving part of the Torah scroll, and I was extremely moved,” Jonny Daniels, head of From the Depths, told Israel Hayom. “This is a relic of a glorious Jewish community in the city. Only a few survivors remain, and now that this is handed back just before Shavuot, the holiday of the giving of the Torah, it is nothing short of amazing….I expressed my deepest gratitude to this Polish woman for preserving it…and she was extremely happy to hand it back to Jewish hands because it gave her closure. I plan to bring it to Israel and to give it to people who lived there.”

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Warsaw’s Jewish community recently buried fragments of old and damaged Torah scrolls, carrying out the ritual on the 74th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

It was a symbolic celebration of life for a Jewish community that was almost completely destroyed during the Holocaust. While Warsaw had some 330,000 Jews before the war, today’s community numbers some 1,000.

By: JNS.org and World Israel News Staff