Photo Credit: Øyvind Holmstad via Wikimedia
Old New Synagogue

Two new Torah scrolls were added to the historic Old-New Synagogue in Prague on Sunday, newsru.co.il reported.

The Torah scrolls were written in Israel, funded by donations from members of the Jewish community of Prague.

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Frantisek Banai, the deputy head of the Jewish community of Prague, noted in a statement that “for the first time in many long years when Torah scrolls were destroyed and burned, the Jewish community and its rabbi are celebrating new Torah scrolls. This is the best expression coming out of the growth of Prague’s Jewish community.”

An estimated 15-20 thousand Jews live in Prague today.

The Old New Synagogue or Altneuschul, located in Josefov, Prague, is Europe’s oldest active synagogue and the oldest surviving medieval synagogue of twin-nave design.

It is said that the body of the Golem, which was created by the “Maharal” (Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel) from Prague, lies in the attic where the genizah (sacred archive) of Prague’s community is kept. A legend relates that a Nazi agent during World War II tried to enter the genizah, and died there. The Gestapo apparently did not enter the synagogue’s attic during the war, and the building was spared. Nowadays, the lowest three meters of the stairs leading to the attic from the outside have been removed and the attic is not open to the general public.

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