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Synagogue Emanu-El's Holocaust Scroll - Recognition Shabbat April 27

Holocaust Scroll, Synagogue Emanu-El Charleston SCEvery time we enter the Sanctuary’s main doors, we walk past the image you see to the left.

But when was the last time you looked at it? And how much do you know about it, and what it represents?

We refer to this Torah scroll as our “Holocaust scroll.” It is on permanent loan to us from the Memorial Scrolls Trust, an organization based in London that tracks hundreds of similar scrolls that were recovered from Europe after World War II. It is a remnant of the worst catastrophe in Jewish history.

We don’t read from this scroll, as it is too damaged for ritual use. Typically, we remove it from its case each year only on the evening of Yom Kippur, when we assemble all of the Torah scrolls for the Kol Nidre prayer.

But in recent months, under the leadership of Samuel Steinberg, we’ve recognized that our synagogue has done little in the more than 20 years we’ve had the scroll to recognize its background and importance. We wish to remedy that, starting this month.

Our website has a page dedicated to the story of this scroll and the organization that has loaned it to us.

Furthermore, we have planned a special Shabbat to rededicate this scroll: Saturday, April 27th.  This Shabbat also is the last day of Passover, a day in which we say the Yizkor service. We hope to see you you there, when we will recognize the scroll in several ways:

  • We will talk briefly about the path the scroll took prior to arriving in our synagogue.
  • We will hear reflections from our Kesher (grades 7-8) students who recently traveled to Washington, DC, to tour the U.S. National Holocaust Museum. These students have been learning about the Holocaust throughout the school year.
  • We will send off several of our congregants heading to Israel several days afterward — a symbol of Jewish continuity in spite of attempts to destroy us.
  • We will hold the scroll during Yizkor, to mark the memory of the 6 million victims of the Shoah. (In recognition of this special moment, we will ask everyone present to remain in the Sanctuary during Yizkor).

Adam J. Rosenbaum


Thu, January 23 2020 26 Tevet 5780