Journey of Holocaust Torah Scroll Detailed Jan. 26

Rabbi Marvin Schwab reading from the Torah. Courtesy/Temple Beth Shalom

Staff Report

Imagine “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” minus the Hollywood special effects and you’ll come close to the story of the Holocaust Torah Scroll.

How was the Torah found? How was it liberated? How did it find its way from its hiding place to London, England, and from there to, of all places, Santa Fe?

Rabbi Marvin Schwab will tell the fascinating tale of this scroll’s journey, its near destruction, and now its restoration at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26 at White Rock Presbyterian Church, 310 Rover Blvd. The public is invited to attend.

The Torah is the first part of the Hebrew Scriptures. It is hand-written on parchment by Soferim (expert scribes.) The process takes about one year.

The Torah in question is on permanent loan to Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe from the Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust. These scrolls were rescued by the Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust in 1964 and since then, many have been distributed to Jewish communities around the world in order to memorialize those lost communities.

Czech Memorial Scroll No. 426 came from the town of Mlada Boleslav, a town approximately 40 miles north of Prague, Czech Republic, and was written circa 1890. It served the Jewish community in Czechoslovakia for many years until the Nazi occupation in 1938-39.

Torah, Number 426, was restored by Rabbi Joel Newman of Denver, Colo.This scroll suffered severe damage and underwent extensive repair following a disastrous roof leak at Temple Beth Shalom in 2008. Now the Temple Beth Shalom has engaged world renowned Sofer, Rabbi Moshe Druin to complete the restoration of the Torah.