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Shalom, chaveirim - hello, friends -


My column is very brief today.


But you have an assignment: Have a look at this video, "The Messenger," about the Czech Memorial Scroll Trust.


We have one of these Torahs though it is unclear to me when Temple Sholom acquired its Czech Torah - #782 of the 1,564. Our Torah is one of many that are “orphans,” meaning we know not of its provenance. About twenty percent of the Torahs are orphans - the remainder have been traceable to their towns and cities of origin.


Based on records in our temple files, “It was brought to Temple Sholom by Saul Barrick’s mother in honor of his father. Saul and his siblings, Sylvia Slessinger and Robert Barrick purchased the beautiful, silver crown. Saul doesn’t know how his mother heard about the Czech Memorial Scrolls but does know that she applied of the scroll on behalf of Temple Sholom, made the requisite donation and arranged for it to be transported from London.” 


If any of you have insight - I’d love to hear more! 


A Torah tells incredible stories. In fact, every Torah tells the same stories and has the same wording. But every Torah has its own story. We, as Jews, are the same. We have the stories of our nation – but every community within our people – has a unique story. And there are cross over points and new lines of connection made all the time. Those invisible – and at times very visible – lines are known as: God. God is in the connection and the survival. God is in the power, the koach, the strength. God is in the love and the nurturing, the tears and panic. God is in the potential and the opportunity. God is in the gift and God is in the receiving. God is present when we speak and when we listen. 


The Torah gives us strength when we nurture her words and struggle with her teachings. She gives us strength when we feel the connection contained within her inherent energy and ours when we hold her tightly. It is a tree of life to those who hold fast to her and all who cling tightly are rich and happy and fulfilled. 


For those of you who would like to join the 60th anniversary of the Czech Memorial Scroll Trust, being held at Temple Emanuel in New York City on Sunday, April 7th (3:00 PM), please register right away. Our temple president, David Shaffer and I will both be in attendance.


May the words of our Torah and the stories they tell bring us inspiration and cause us to preserve and cherish, to grow and live our lives fully connected to our people - and bring light to the world.




Rabbi Mark Cohn



Sunday, April 7 (3:00 PM) at Temple Emanuel, 1 E. 65h Street, NYC. Join me for an extraordinary opportunity to honor our Czech Torah!! Register soon HERE as seating is limited. To learn more about the Czech Memorial Scroll Trust, go to their website HERE.


Thursday, May 9 (7:00 PM) at Congregation B'nai Israel, 444 Main Street, Southbury. Acclaimed author, journalist, teacher Yossi Klein Halevi will be speaking on "How October 7 Changed Israel and the Jewish World." This evening is hosted by our congregation joined with CBI of Southbury, the Jewish Federation of Western CT, the Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life, United Jewish Center of Danbury, and Temple Beth David of Cheshire.

Most services stream live and can be watched or replayed on our Facebook Page
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