75 Years Later... A Torah Scroll Makes Its Way Home
The wife showed them the “Jewish book” that had been in their home since the beginning of World War II
A Torah scroll that was discovered in the home of a Polish family was finally returned to Israel. The antique scroll had been hidden in the family's house by their Jewish neighbors. In order to understand how it got there, we need to go back to the eve of WWII.
The Torah scroll was discovered at the village of Filipov in northern Poland. A group of students from the University of Warsaw, who were part of a volunteer project that conserves the memory of the Holocaust, tried to find fragments of Jewish tombstones that have been shattered or broken over the years and used as building materials. During the course of the search, the students found the scroll in the couple’s home who are both in their seventies.
The students asked the couple whether they know of places where they could find pieces of Jewish gravestones. The husband, Kazmir Wrubleski, said he did not know, but his wife showed them the “Jewish book” that had been in their home since the beginning of World War II.
To the surprise of the volunteers, the couple pulled out from under their couch a large, very worn out Torah scroll. They told the students that the Torah was brought to their home immediately when the war broke out by their Jewish neighbors, who asked Mr. Wrubleski’s parents to keep the book for them until they returned home, but they told them that if they did not, they should transfer it to another Jew. The couple did not encounter many Jews after the war, and it was only now, in 2014, that they found the right person to give the scroll to - Mi'amakim Director Johnny Daniels, who brought the scroll to Israel.
“The couple hid the scroll given to them by their Jewish neighbors for many years,” said Daniels. “They did not know that this was a sacred object and used some of the pages as cleaning materials and shoe insoles. When they saw me kissing the book with excitement, they did not believe their eyes, unaware of its holiness to the Jews. The scroll is now in Israel, and I intend to restore it and dedicate it to Holocaust survivors in Israel and abroad. We invite Holocaust survivors to write a letter in the scroll. Once it is completed we will have a ceremony where we will put the restored Torah scroll in the Knesset's synagogue,” he added.