Nineteen Ancient Sifrei Torah of the Kosel Brought to Genizah

By Hamodia Staff

On Wednesday evening, 11 Sivan, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation for the first time held a historic event at the Kosel plaza in which ancient sifrei Torah that have been worn out over the years from extensive use were brought to genizah. The event was carried out after a thorough mapping work carried out by the foundation of all sifrei Torah used by the general public in the various tefillos and bar mitzvah celebrations at the Kosel plaza.

The ancient sifrei Torah are from different periods, with the estimates being that some are 150 years old. Some of them survived the First World War and the Holocaust, coming from Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Hungary. The sifrei Torah, which were used by the millions of mispallelim at the Kosel every year for decades, were worn out and became pasul due to extensive use and cannot be repaired.

The event was held with the participation of Harav Avigdor Nabentzal, shlita, the zkan haRabbanim and the Rav of the Rova Yehudi (Jewish Quarter); Harav David Lau, Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Israel; Harav Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Rav of the Kosel Plaza; Harav Binyamin Adler, Raavad of Agudath Israel; Minister of Yerushalayim and Israel’s Tradition Rabbi Meir Porush; Rav of the Gila neighborhood Harav Eliyahu Schlesinger and others.

During the event, the Rabbanim aroused the crowd with words of compassion for the Jewish people and Rav Rabinowitz recited Tehillim and other tefillos.

The event was dedicated to aliyas neshamah of Maran Rosh Yeshiva Hagaon Harav Yerachmiel Gershon Edelstein, zt”l.

In his remarks, Harav Avigdor Nabtzel, shlita, said, “Today we are going to accompany the sifrei Torah, after yesterday we accompanied a living sefer Torah. We are not accompanying the sifrei Torah, but the Torah accompanies us wherever we go, lying down and standing up. The words of the Torah are our life and the length of our days. “

Harav Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Rav of the Kosel Plaza, reciting Tehillim.

Harav Shmuel Rabinowitz said, “We have the great privilege of bringing these sifrei Torah to eternal genizah with due respect and according to the halachah and the minhagim of Klal Yisrael. Nineteen sifrei Torah that are a faithful testimony of decades of use and represent the Jewish communities in Israel and abroad, just as Kosel brings together all people for prayer. We will continue to see to it that the sifrei Torah at the Kosel are elegant, according to the minhagim of all kehillos, with halachic supervision. As stated in the sifrei kodesh, this is a moment capable of arousing mercy and we pray in this situation for the salvation of the people of Klal Yisrael.”

From the Kosel a convoy left to the burial on Har Hazeisim by the Yerusalem Chevra Kadisha of the Peirushim, where a special genizah structure was established in accordance with the customs of Yerushalayim.

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