Dnepropetrovsk Welcomes Historical Sifrei Torah


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st.jpgThe Jewish community of Dnepropetrovsk was full of excitement on Tuesday, as two Sifrei Torah were carried into the ‘Golden Rose’ Shul for the first time. They once belonged to two separate Jewish communities – in Ukraine and Belarus – where the location population was lost to the Holocaust.

One Torah was found in the village of Dobrovelichkovka in Ukraine’s Kirovograd Region, in the attic of a home where it was hidden from the Nazis Y”MS. Upon purchasing the Sifrei Torah from the home’s owner, experts determined that these were only 2 of 5 Torah’s. Of a unique size and font, the decision was taken to send them for restoration to Eretz Yisroel, where a genuine wonder occurred. Not long after others in Eastern Europe began to send similar scrolls to the Institute for Restoring Scrolls, all five Scrolls were ultimately reunited. They have subsequently been returned to the Jewish community of Dnepropetrovsk.

The second scroll was written before World War Two in the village of Sloniy in Belarus. When the Nazis invaded in 1941, it was first hidden in a cave and then sent to Shanghai for safekeeping. It was only in 1995 that the Chinese government finally agreed to release the scroll. It was sent to Israel and kept at the ‘Ot Beadar’ Machon, where Soifers restored it in full before transferring it to Dnepropetrovsk.

The Sifrei Torah were carried under a Chuppa for the procession and then brought into the Shul. Chief Rabbi of Dnepropetrovsk Shmuel Kaminetsky and Chairman Gersh Korol spoke to the crowd. “These two Torah Scrolls came from Jewish communities that died out in the Holocaust,” expressed Rabbi Kaminetsky. “This fact is proof as to the rebirth of Jewish life here”. Festivities culminated in Hakafot and a feast.

The Jewish community of Dnepropetrovsk is grateful to everyone who contributed to restoring these scrolls, including the sponsors: Arkady Golda and family, Mikhail Katz and family, Boris Gelman and family, Mikhail Redkov and family. A special thanks goes to the ‘Sochnut’ Jewish Agency and its representatives Dmitry Apartsev and Uri Ogali, as well as the World Zionist Organization, represented by Rabbi Ekhiel Vaserman.

(Source: FJC)