Temple Or Olam extends a HUGE thank you to Ken Klawans, who set up a donation site on causes.com to raise the remaining money to pay for our new Torah. Ken’s generosity, matching donations, and amazing drive to help people he didn’t even know raised $12,000.
While we will never be able to repay such an extraordinary act of kindness, we are very, very grateful!
The Torah is the heart of Jewish community.
When Temple Emanu-El of Weldon, North Carolina, had to close its doors, the community gave one of its two scrolls to us.
Our scroll has an extraordinary history. The many communities who knew our Torah in its youth were destroyed in the Holocaust. Somehow, fragments of their many Torahs – from Moravia, Macedonia, and Lithuania – were saved. Later, these pieces were stitched together to make one complete scroll.
We do not chant from this Torah without acknowledging those who perished in the Shoah. To read from it has been our way to honor and remember them.
After two restorations in nine years, we have learned, to our great sadness, that our Torah is facing retirement. Who knows how her many fragments even survived the conflagrations in Europe? The parchment is well over 100 years old and it has grown unable to hold on to restored letters.
We have found a beautiful and healthy scroll written by a Mizrachi scribe. Her provenance is likely Iran or Iraq. Middle Eastern Jewish communities were the longest continuous Jewish communities in existence until the birth of Israel, when they were forced to dissolve.