The Jewish Congregation of Venice is fortunate to be the temporary caretaker of one of the 1,564 Czech Torah scrolls saved from neglect and further deterioration after World War II. Now under the protection of the Memorial Scrolls Trust (MST), the scrolls have been sent to congregations around the globe. The JCV scroll is one of six scrolls from Susice, a small town southwest of Prague. Though some of the writing is illegible and the name of God is torn (making the scroll “un-Kosher”), the JCV can use it in a few ceremonies. Hana Gruna, one of six Jewish residents of Susice to survive the Holocaust, saw the Torahs for the first time in 1999. That night she dreamt of her family members, together with the whole Susice congregation – who suddenly appeared before her “in their best clothes.” For a brief moment, Hana said, “I saw them all” (Cleveland Jewish News – February 6, 2019).
Our Torah is a reminder of the Jews of Susice and all who perished in the Shoah.