Sign In Forgot Password

Click to view Certificate.

Czech Torah Scroll MST # 152

Click this picture to see a viewable & printable version of the certificate. ----->

TORAH SCROLL “MST #152” is a story of perseverance and life. It is one of 1,564 Torah scrolls that were saved by being collected in Prague from the destroyed Jewish communities of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia (1939-1945).

In March 1939 the Nazis took over this area.  First, they passed a series of very oppressive laws making daily life extremely hard for Jews. In 1940, the Nazis seized the properties of the Jews and then prevented praying and all religious observance.  In Czechoslovakia there were 2,000 Jewish communities both large and small.  Our Torah may have been used on Shabbat in one of those destroyed small communities.  The Nazis collected thousands of Jewish artifacts and brought them to Prague.

Czech Torah “MST #152” was one of scrolls that experts could not determine a date of writing, nor a place of origin.  Many Torah scrolls were sent to the Pinkas Synagogue which became a collection point in Prague.   One of Prague’s most famous synagogues, the Pinkas can be traced to the 15th century.  Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel of this period was a leading rabbi, Talmudic scholar and creator of the story,” "The Golem”.  He was known as the “Maharal” (our teacher) of Prague.*  The Pinkas synagogue was restored in the 1950’s, and today is a memorial to the 77,297 Jews of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia who perished in the Holocaust.

During the 1960s a group of dedicated Jews of the Westminster Synagogue in London, England formed a trust, “The Memorial Scrolls Trust” to rescue and restore these “forgotten” holy scrolls. Their mission was to offer them to living synagogues all over the world to preserve the chain of tradition.   This scroll, #152 is on permanent loan at Temple Shalom from the Memorial Scrolls Trust.

In 1989, David Bram, businessman, entrepreneur, community volunteer and survivor of Poznan, Breslau, Gross-Rosen, Auchwitz-Birkenau and Ebensee Concentration Camps brought scroll MST#152 to Temple Shalom in Colorado Springs and dedicated it in memory of his family—a memorial to the vanished communities of Europe and a gift to future generations.  “Take this Torah,” he tells the children of his community.  “Take it to heart, learn from it and from the stories it holds”.

We remain honored to house this special Torah at Temple Shalom, Colorado Springs on behalf of an anonymous community in Czechoslovakia. This scroll is displayed at Temple Shalom year-round.  It is a learning piece of history that is surrounded by sacred, ancient texts, and the story of it’s journey to Colorado.

The Memorial Torah scroll is part of our High Holiday Services.  To begin our Kol Nidre Service all of the Torah scrolls are carried in a processional by the Past Presidents of the Synagogue through the congregation to the bima adorned in special white covers for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  Throughout the year, the Torah is a part of our education classes as our students Preschool-High School visit the case to find it in a scavenger hunt, look at the letters and decipher some of the text, to see firsthand the rescued Torah as students study the Holocaust.

To learn more about the Memorial Scroll Trust (MST), click here.

 

ABOUT OUR TORAH SCROLL AT TEMPLE SHALOM

 

Since it’s arrival in 1989, Temple Shalom has kept Memorial Scroll #152 safe and well protected.  While it cannot be restored, and in fact serves as a symbol of survival, we incorporate it into our Synagogue services and it welcomes visitors and congregants as they enter the sanctuary. Our Memorial Scroll was first reviewed in 2004 by Rabbi Douglas Weber along with other Temple Shalom scrolls.  In February 2023, Sofer Rabbi Druin examined the Torah to confirm the identification based on its unique characteristics: “The Hebrew letters,”bet” and “taf” are slightly different and follow the style of the 16th century Maharal (teacher) of Prague. The stitching between the pieces of parchment: a double-loop style unique to the Czech lands.”


Left to right: Zita & David Bram in 1989 Dedication.

             
Torah Cover specially made                                                                       Yom Kippur Torah Opening - 2022                                                   
for our Torah Scroll # 152 
                                                                                                                                                                                         

 

 

Tue, April 16 2024 8 Nisan 5784