Recycling Torah Scrolls To Israel

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Mr. Moshe Burt of Ramat Beit Shemesh had a dream - and it's coming true. Founder of a unique project called The Sefer Torah Recycling Network, he is already up to his sixth Torah Scroll - locating and receiving those that are not in use, refurbishing them, and sending them off to communities in Israel that sorely need them.

Upon the occasion of the launching of Burt's new Sefer Torah newsletter, Arutz-7's Yosef Zalmanson spoke with him and heard the stories behind some of the scrolls - stories of hard work, Divine Providence, gratitude, and cooperation. For instance, the Torah Scroll now in the Gush Etzion community of Bat Ayin was long stored in the Philadephia Yeshiva - thanks to two consecutive fortuitous meetings between Rabbi Mordechai Young (son of its owner), Bat Ayin representatives, and Mr. Burt. Other Torah scrolls that Burt placed in Shvut Rachel, Maaleh Hever, Tapuach and Kiryat Arba originated in Philadephia, Palo Alto, Brooklyn, and Baltimore, respectively.

Mr. Burt is now engaged in readying his sixth Torah Scroll, which spent many years in Baltimore, for the Shomron community of Chomesh. Burt notes that "one is truly connected to a place only when that place is one of Torah - via owning its own Sefer Torah." To that end, he expresses his wish that "every location in Eretz Yisrael, regardless of economic means, be 'places of Torah" - and asks that people keep their eye out for extra or need-to-be-repaired Torah scrolls in their synagogues or amongst their acquaintances. Among the congregations that do not own Torah scrolls, Burt lists some in Eli, Shilo, Kiryat Sefer, Ramat Mamre, and Ma'aleh Amos, as well as congregations in Herzliya, central Tel Aviv, and other established locations. For more information, contact "mosheb@sefer-torah.com".