Nov 1, 2012

Picture of The Day

drying out Torah scrolls in New York... more victims of Sandy...

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  1. While this picture is a tearjerker, one must remember that these scrolls are not human and feel no pain (unlike so many victims of the storm). They are replaceable. Moreover, unlike the scrolls destroyed in the Holocaust, there was no animus involved in their destruction. While the picture is interesting, I can't get emotionally worked up over it (as another blogger did).

    I never understood the heroism of running into a burning shul to save the scrolls, and I don't understand the pathos people ascribe to a picture like this.

    1. I don't get emotionally stirred either, and I think sometimes we do run the risk of misprioritizing "things" and "ideas" over and above real people (as in pushing people out of the way to kiss the Torah).

      That said... A Torah scroll is not just any old "thing" - it's a symbol of our national consciousness as a people. So our desire to save it is, I believe, partly an extension of our own survival instinct. The destruction of a Sefer Torah hits us as a kind of self-destruction.

      This is expressed beautifully in the Zohar, which says that Torah, Yisrael and HKB"H are "one". Put another way, Torah and HKB"H are extensions of Yisrael - v'haven zeh...

  2. Sorry Tesya, I can't agree; there is something a very powerful emotion that takes over when one sees a damaged Sefer Torah.

    Several years ago there was a fire in a shul in Modi'in. I was there when they brought out the water and fire damaged sforim, and we also unrolled them to help dry them out.
    When Rav Lau saw a burnt Sefer he instructed us to tear Kriya.

    Yes it was only parchment and ink, and no there was no animosity or hatred that caused the fire, but when I got home that evening in my torn shirt, I locked myself in my office and cried more than I had ever cried before. I still don't know why.

  3. Does anyone know which shul this was in?

  4. Chabad of Mill Basin.

    The Sifrei Torah were stored in a safe about eight feet off the ground.

    The water rose to nine feet.

    The Wolf

  5. While a Torah scroll is replaceable... it takes over a year to do so! These are not manufactured products that can be spit out on a 3d printer.

  6. anyone know why their parochet is still white from the chaggim?


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