Ancient Torah Scroll Restored and Inaugurated at Siberian Irkutsk

An ancient Torah scroll dating back more than 200 years was delicately mended and renewed and then inaugurated at a festive ceremony in the Great Synagogue of the Siberian Jewish community of Irkutsk.  It was dedicated in honor of the community’s partners and supporters across the globe.

The decision to invest the great efforts required to renew such an old Torah scroll was taken during the synagogue’s 140 anniversary, back in January 2020. “Together with our community members,” says the city’s Chief Rabbi Ahron Wagner, “my wife Dorit and I, see great symbolic significance in restoring the ancient Torah scroll that served the Jewish community for so long. It is truly a very touching moment for us all.”

In addition, the original Torah mantles (coats) also dating back more than 140 years, were renewed and inaugurated together with the restored scroll that was placed in the Synagoguge’s holy ark on Lag Ba’Omer in a festive event.

“Eighteen years ago,” shares Mrs. Dorit Wagner, “an old man brought us a little bag with two tiny Torah mantles and said, ‘One day you might need them.’ Little did we know then, that these beautiful mantles were used for decades in our synagogue. Now we are proud to have restored them and reintroduced them to our services.”

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