Festzug zur Synagoge
Die Torahrollen vor der Synagoge
Edward van Voolen liest eine Bracha
Präsentation der "kleinen Rolle",
rechts Gabor Lengyel
History of the Torah scrolls in the Jewish Community of Göttingen
We have two antique Torah scrolls that are used for religious services in our synagogue. Each one has a facinating story. The larger one was most likely written in the 1600s. It was given in the 1970s to a library in Eastern Germany by an unknown donor. An expert there placed the origin of the scroll in Poland or Russia. After the reunification, in 1998, it was presented to the Jewish Community in Göttingen by the University of Erfurt.
The smaller scroll is shrouded in even more mystery. It is not known for certain where it was written, but most probably in Germany. It was dated to sometime in the 1800s. It seems to have been exhumed in Frankfurt or Berlin.
Both scrolls needed to be re-coshered. Both needed repairs. Some of the writing needed to be redone, and for this a Sofer had to be found. It was our good fortune to win Rabbi Steve Karro in Miami, Florida to do the repairs on the material and the writing. The scolls had to be brought to Miami for the work. Prof. Georg Iggers of Buffalo, NY, a long-time external member of the Göttingen Community took care of that. The costs for doing the repair work were generously covered by Leonard Wien.
On April 9, 2010, the scrolls arrived in Göttingen in the company of Rabbi Karro, Barbara and Leonard Wien and Rabbi David Schlesinger from Jerusalem. They were carried to the synagogue under a chuppa (s. picture). After Steve Karro wrote the last remaining letters into the scrolls, there were speeches and members of the community danced around the Bima with the scrolls and placed them into the Aron Hakodesh.