Foreign Ministry welcomes Torah scroll from Bucharest

Foreign Ministry synagogue holds traditional ceremony welcoming Torah scroll from Bucharest.

Hezki Baruch ,

Rabbi David Lau at the ceremony
Rabbi David Lau at the ceremony
Hezki Ezra

Israel's Foreign Ministry on Sunday held a ceremony welcoming a Torah scroll to its synagogue in Jerusalem's government complex.

Attending the ceremony were Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) and Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau, senior officials in both the Religious Services and Foreign Ministries, and representatives from Romania's Jewish community.

The "new" Torah scroll is estimated to be approximately 150 years old, and was found beneath the ruins of a Bucharest synagogue destroyed in World War II.

The scroll, which was carefully checked and fixed, is written in elegant script which conforms to the highest standards. One of the last remnants of a Jewish community decimated by the Holocaust, it was brought to Israel by the Menorah Foundation, and Israel's Religious Services Ministry granted it to the Foreign Ministry.

Rabbi Lau said, "This Torah scroll is our identity card, and we are bringing it home. We are happy, and we are announcing, 'This is our identity card, this is the core of our being.' We are hugging this Torah scroll in our homeland."

Hotovely said, "This Torah scroll represents our society's moral injunction. The world is constantly concerned with Israel, not just because of our geographic location but because of what we represent for humanity.

"With this ceremony, we welcome Bucharest's Torah scroll to the Foreign Ministry and fulfill our forefather Joseph's will, which we read in last week's Torah portion. Joseph requested his remains not be left in Egypt, and I am happy the Foreign Ministry is the government ministry which has been chosen to receive this Torah scroll from the Menorah Foundation."

הכנסת ספר התורה. הבוקר
צילום: חזקי ברוך