A Gift from Harold and Mickey Smith
Our interest in sifre torah began with the purchase of a large sefer torah from the Beth David synagogue on the old west side. At the same time we purchased that scroll, the dealer told us of another Torah he had which was not kosher and he claimed to have surfaced after the war. The script was faded, the parchment was dirty and the atzei chayim had been cut off.
He explained that this torah was originally from a small town in Czechoslovakia and had been hidden by a non-Jew during the war. He was friend of the rabbi in this town and was told to hide it and keep it till the war ended. He supposedly hid it in an indentation in his basement and to fit the space he had to cut off the aitz chayim. Sometime after the war it surfaced and made its way to the Westminster Torah registry in London and wound up with this dealer in New York. We were intrigued by the story and bought it.
He had it cleaned up as best he could and had a new mantle woven by Moshe Klein and sent it to us. We loved the story and the beautiful mantle and so kept it in our home these many years—knowing full well that some day we would have to find a permanent home for it. And that permanent home is the Beth Jacob Synagogue.
We have also donated a gold breastplate to the Beth Jacob in memory of our beloved daughter, Marjorie (z’l).
–Harold and Mickey Smith