A Torah scroll from 1880 that originated in the town of Domazlice, Czech Republic, has made its way to Calvary Hospital in The Bronx.
According the The Daily News, the Torah was damaged when Nazis took away religious and cultural artifacts from Jewish communities in Europe during World War II.
Although still damaged, the scroll will be restored with care at Calvary Hospital and then will be able to be used in ceremonies for its Jewish patients.
The Bronx might seem like an unlikely place for the Torah to make its way to but at one point our borough was the most Jewish borough in all of New York City.
The Daily News writes:
“So-called Scroll No. 515, taken from a synagogue in the Czech town of Domazlice, is on permanent loan to Calvary from London-based Memorial Scrolls Trust, an organization that has been mending and distributing Torah scrolls to congregations worldwide since the 1960s.
“When a Torah is no longer able to be used, it’s either buried like a person or restored,” said Calvary Hospital Rabbi Rachmiel Rothberger.
“The beauty of the whole project is that when the scribes inspected the Torah, they found it could be repaired. The fact that they were able to repair it and bring it back to life is a special honor.”
The Calvary scroll, housed at the hospital’s Bronx campus in Eastchester, is being worked on by a rabbinical restoration team from the organization Sofer On Site that is painstakingly fixing the many creases, tears and holes, as well as re-inking words and letters originally written with a quill feather.
The restoration may cost as much as $100,000, a Calvary spokeswoman said. Once enough money is raised, remaining funds will go toward benefiting patients and families regardless of faith.
The hospital, which provides end-of-life care for cancer patients of all faiths and others with serious illnesses, has set up a Web page for contributions at calvaryhospital.org/torahrestoration.
The Torah scroll isn’t only valued for its religious and historical significance; it’s also a symbol of Calvary’s outreach to the Jewish community.
While it isn’t ready yet for services, Rothberger said the scroll has so far been a source of inspiration and peace for many of its Jewish patients.
“We bring it to their rooms so that they can say a prayer and kiss the Torah,” he said.” Read the full story at The Daily News