Our Torah Scrolls

“From [Mount] Zion shall go forth Torah” – Isaiah 2:3

The Torah is our most sacred text, the earliest recordings of the conversations and encounters between God and the Jewish people.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADSC_0004In Mount Zion’s Sanctuary and Chapel arks are seven scrolls of Torah, some are almost 150 years old and come from Czechoslovakia to Hungary to Germany to Lithuania. Each scroll contains the exact same five books of Moses, Bereshit [Genesis], Sh’mot [Exodus], Vayikra [Leviticus], B’midbar [Numbers] and D’varim [Deuteronomy]. The 304,805 letters of these five books are written on parchment with black ink in the same way today as our ancestors have done for the past 2500 years.

In 2006-07, as part of our sesquicentennial celebrations, Mount Zion commissioned a new Torah written by Sofer [Scribe] Daniel Brenner from Israel. Sofer Brenner wrote all of the Torah except for the first yeriah [parchment section.] Sofer Neil Yerman, our scribe, worked with almost 300 members of our congregation to write the letters on this yeriah, in the opening chapter of Bereshit [Genesis.] Demetrios Marcos Vital, Sofer apprentice, who grew up at Mount Zion also completed several columns of Genesis in this Torah. This Torah is the primary scroll we read from on Shabbat and holy days. It is our eighth Torah and thus called our “Chet Torah.” [Chet is the 8th letter of the aleph-bet.]

Thanks to the dedication of Geoffrey Kroll and Sandy Weisberg, we have two of our Torah scrolls photographed in their entirety and are available by clicking on the links below.

Mount Zion Chet Scroll

Mount Zion Vav Scroll

Holocaust Torah – #814 from Memorial Trust

Certificate for Holocaust Torah - #814 from Memorial TrustIn our Sanctuary Ark, we have one scroll that is technically not kosher – its letters are faded and the scroll too weak to hold the ink – but it holds strong value. It is our Holocaust Torah, on permanent loan to us since March, 1978 from the Memorial Scrolls Trust.   www.memorialscrollstrust.org.

We take this Torah out of the Ark every year not only on Yom Kippur but also on Confirmation, when our teens hold the Torah while blessed by the rabbi. When they hold it, they hold this scroll for all of us, feeling its history, the power and challenge of legacy, the joy of Torah’s stories, values, and teachings, and the importance of our role as a link in the chain of tradition.

This Torah comes from a small Czechoslovakian town, Divisov, that no longer has any Jews. Its history is part of the history that is written below:

Mount Zion Holocaust Scroll

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