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Rabbi Schwab of Temple Beth Shalom will tell the tale of the Holocaust Memorial Torah Scroll’s journey, its near destruction, and now its restoration: 4 p.m. Jan. 26 at White Rock Presbyterian Church, 310 Rover Blvd. in White Rock.
In Europe, a document dating back some 4,000 years, detailing a part of human history in the ancient Near East, with guidelines for living a good life, was written down 350 years ago.
The process took a full year as a scribe carefully and reverently copied each letter, by hand with a quill pen and special ink on parchment, from a previous version following a mystical tradition. Now imagine how this scroll of wisdom, teaching and history was revered and how many upheavals the people who treasured it endured.
Finally, by the time of World War II, the community to which it had been entrusted could no longer keep it safe, so it was hidden until the winds of war passed.
The community itself did not survive the Nazi Holocaust. The resting place of their sacred text was lost, locked behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia.
How was it found? How was it liberated? How did it find its way from its hiding place to London, England, and from there to New Mexico?
This is just a taste of the story of the Holocaust Memorial Torah Scroll (the Five Books of Moses), which is now on permanent loan to Temple Beth Shalom in Santa Fe. It represents a heritage important to all three Abrahamic religions and is, in fact, a community treasure.