Hungarian town gets new Torah scroll

New Torah scroll dedicated at special synagogue facing Mád's cemetery.

Michal Levi ,

Dedicating the Torah scroll
Dedicating the Torah scroll
Oholei Zadikim

The cemetery in the Hungarian town of Mád is well-preserved and most of the headstones are intact, despite the passing of the years.

Mád's streets, however, had not seen the celebration of a new Torah scroll for many years.

This changed recently, when a new Torah scroll was dedicated in a synagogue housed in a guest house near the cemetery.

The guest house was built by the descendants of the Kol Aryeh, Reb Avraham Yehuda HaKohen Schwartz, and his son the Beit Naftali, who are both buried in the city's cemetery. The family has renovated the site and put up a tent, and the general renovations were integrated with the construction of a guest house.

The building includes a synagogue for kohanim, men of the priestly tribe who are not allowed to enter a cemetery. Those praying in the synagogue can see the cemetery through a glass wall built specially to honor the kohanim and the memories of the Kol Aryeh and the Beit Naftali, both of whom were also descended from the priestly tribe.

Two brothers, descendants of the Kol Aryeh and Beit Naftali, wrote the final letters of the Torah scroll were written.

Both brothers financed the project together with Rabbi Yisrael Meir Gabbay, the chairman of the "Oholei Zadikim" association, which helped develop the site.

After the scroll was finished, participants marched through the streets, drawing the interest of local residents who had not seen such a sight for many years.