The road to to Ceske Budejovice: Silent witnesses from our second Czech Sefer Torah

Saturday, September 30, 2017, Yom Kippur morning, I was sitting in my usual place in Shul, having just completed my Torah reading. The person honored with Hagbah (the lifting of the Torah) was sitting rather uncomfortably with some back spasms. Our Cantor motioned to me and asked if I could relieve him and sit withContinue reading “The road to to Ceske Budejovice: Silent witnesses from our second Czech Sefer Torah”

Terezín: Banality, Bureaucracy, Gross Demented Brutality and Bucolic tree-lined streets

The title about sums it up for me. The 6 hours I spent today touring The Terezín Concentration Camp were very different from the only other time I was there in 1998. That was my first concentration camp visit and the temperature on that date was hovering somewhere around 9 degrees F. (That’s COLD byContinue reading “Terezín: Banality, Bureaucracy, Gross Demented Brutality and Bucolic tree-lined streets”

Press mentions of the Olomouc Torah Story

Our story is starting to see a lot of traction in the media in various forms, so I thought I would use this space to capture some of the press mentions. If you find others, please let me know! A Radio interview in Czech featuring our friend from Olomouc Petr Papousek https://olomouc.rozhlas.cz/zidovska-tora-z-vypalene-synagogy-se-vraci-do-olomouce-6372588 In Czech…IDNES isContinue reading “Press mentions of the Olomouc Torah Story”

At last! Mission Accomplished!

One morning after the newly Kosher scroll was returned to the Aron Kodesh in Olomouc and I think we’re all still processing what this historic occasion meant. At least I know I am. I was honored to play some small part in this joyous simcha. Most of us have scattered to the four corners ofContinue reading “At last! Mission Accomplished!”

Simchat Torah 5758, part Deux: Shabbat in Olomouc

You should have seen it last night! Really, if you could have been there! some ways you’re just going to have to trust me on this one but today was an incredibly emotional day. Since some of it took place after Shabbat came in, all you’re going to get is my word’s-eye-view description. No photosContinue reading “Simchat Torah 5758, part Deux: Shabbat in Olomouc”

A “Hakafah” to end all “Hakafot”: A Second Simchat Torah (5778)

When we march around with a Torah Scroll in a Synagogue, we call the procession a “Hakafah” (Hakafot (הקפות plural); Hakafah (הקפה singular)—meaning “[to] circle” or “going around” in Hebrew) and there was something rather profound about a 9000+ KM Hakafah with this scroll now nearly completed as we have arrived back in its ancestralContinue reading “A “Hakafah” to end all “Hakafot”: A Second Simchat Torah (5778)”

Darsheni! Know Your Place

Up early but I slept very well last night. As we were walking across the Charles Bridge yesterday, we ran across a famous statue on the Bridge which called out “Darsheni” (“Explain Me!” in Talmudic parlance). I don’t really expect to understand the full scope, history and beauty of Prague after 20 years since myContinue reading “Darsheni! Know Your Place”

And Awwwwway We Go! The Journey Begins

The Olomouc Scroll (MST #740) is now on its way back home. Our synagogue, Peninsula Sinai Congregation in Foster City, has been honored to host this scroll and its companion scroll from the town of Ceske Budejovice in the Czech Republic for 47 years. Now, we’re closing this part of the circle and under theContinue reading “And Awwwwway We Go! The Journey Begins”

From Roman Gronsky, Olomouc Community Leader

So this is pretty cool. An email that Doron, our Hazzan received from his wife Jocelyn’s cousin Roman, a communal leader in Olomouc that references Scroll 740 (PSC’s Olomouc Scroll). I did not know there was also an Olomouc Scroll in New Jersey (#515 from Domažlice to Calvary hospital in Bronx, NYC). Here’s what RomanContinue reading “From Roman Gronsky, Olomouc Community Leader”

A taste of the history of the PSC scrolls

Most of my loyal correspondents are aware by now that I will be taking a trip to the Czech Republic later this month as part of a delegation from Peninsula Sinai Congregation to facilitate the return one of our two Czech Torahs under the auspices of the Memorial Scrolls Trust to its ancestral home inContinue reading “A taste of the history of the PSC scrolls”