NVHC’s Three Torah Scrolls
Central to Jewish tradition is Torah, which contains the teachings of Judaism. Torah refers to the Five Books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy which were given on Mount Sinai) and more broadly to the Oral Law (which is contained in the Talmud and Midrash). A Sefer Torah, or Torah scroll, is a handwritten copy of the Five Books of Moses.
NVHC has three Sifre Torah. Our youngest scroll (pictured on the right with
light-colored handles) is about 125 years old and originated in Eastern Poland or Ukraine and was bought to NVHC via Samarkand, Uzbekistan. It is the heaviest of the three scrolls. The second oldest (pictured on the left) is between 150-175 years old and comes from Poland. This is the one we read most often and is the lightest and the newest addition to the NVHC collection of Torah scrolls. The tallest (pictured in the center with a silver breast plate) is our Czech Holocaust scroll which is likely 250-300 years old. Because of its delicate condition, we read this scroll on special occasions (usually the afternoon of Yom Kippur). It has beautiful handwriting, intricately carved handles and an amazing story.
The Sifre Torah are stored in an ark. NVHC has an ark in our sanctuary and a portable ark (which is in the multi-purpose room) for when services are held in another location.
Also, pictured all the way to the left is a felt case containing a hand-written copy of the Megillah or Book of Esther, which is read on Purim.