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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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A Torah

But the one that caught my eye over and over again was the small Torah in the green velvet wrapping. The green material was a bit faded and looked very old. In 1933, that Torah had been in a synagogue in Germany when the Nazis came and set the building on fire.

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Photo Credit: Gershon Elinson/Flash90

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They surrounded the elderly man and his Torah, dancing in a circle around them – circling around and around. This is our history – always in a circle and it all comes back to the Torah, to the joy of family, of community, of history, of survival.

It is a picture that I do not have – I could get one, of the Torah perhaps but not of the men dancing, of the old man walking slowly with the Torah that has been a part of his life and that of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It is one of those pictures I can paint with words. I hope you can imagine it if you close your eyes and I hope you can hear it. Maybe it isn’t a picture; maybe it is a more of a video, if I think about it – one constantly in motion – circling the synagogue year after year. A man and his children. His children’s children and theirs. His friends. His community. His Torah.

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About the Author: Visit Paula Stern's blog, A Soldier's Mother.


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