Hatam Soferet’s inbox today twinkled with forwards of this Washington Post article.
Basically, there’s a guy, R’ Youlus, whose shtick is rescuing sifrei Torah from Nazi-stricken Europe – removing them, restoring them to usable condition, and rehousing them in America. (As someone with a personal interest in resurgent European Jewry I have my reservations regarding the idea that the appropriate way to “rescue” a sefer Torah is to remove it to America, mind you.) Jolly good. He’s been doing this for some years.
This article suggests that perhaps all is not quite as it should be in the realm of R’ Youlus’ sifrei Torah, that these are no more genuine Holocaust-surviving sifrei Torah than they are splinters of the True Cross.
In particular, certain highly-coloured, heartwrenching tales of dramatic Torah-scroll rescues don’t appear to stand up so well to close examination.
There was a legend of a Torah scroll that had been hidden under the floorboards at Bergen-Belsen…[R' Youlus] came to Bergen-Belsen on a tour and literally fell into a hole in the corner of the floorboards, felt something strange, suspected that this might be where it was. It was dug up. Indeed it was the Torah, fully there. After some negotiations, Rabbi Youlus was able to purchase the Torah…
But Youlus’s discovery at Bergen-Belsen comes as news to the historian at the camp museum. “I can definitely exclude that there could have been a find of the Torah scroll on the grounds of the Bergen-Belsen Memorial” in recent years, writes Thomas Rahe.
That sort of thing. Well, you can read the article yourselves and see what you think. Wouldn’t be the first time a pious-looking person has fleeced people by selling fake relics.
But.( Read the rest of this entry » )
Mirrored from hasoferet.com.