Friday, October 30, 2015

The torahs of De Hirsch

One of Casey's theories about Place states that "Places gather"

They gather things that make themselves distinctive and give them meaning.  Considering the Old Sanctuary, two special things that it gathered were rabbis and torahs.

The rabbis determined what went on in the sanctuary, how they would worship, how the people would gather, they lead through their worship space.  They had two during the period 1907-1960

Rabbi Samuel Koch
Rabbi Raphael H. Levine

No need to keep track of the assistant rabbis, pretty straightforward

The torahs in the ark; they're the law, the most important, honored and meaningful possession of any congregation.  Priceless.  If a new or small congregation does not have their own torah, often a large temple such as De Hirsch will lend them.

So what torahs were in the ark of the Old Sanctuary?  I was directed towards the current rabbis, yes it's time to start talking to them.  So I was referred to one who disclosed that De Hirsch Sinai owned 11 torahs.  But insisted that nobody knew their history.

I don't believe that.

I collecting some images (so far I have two) and I know that if I can meet with them we can figure what torahs the congregation owned before 1960.  I know that they did a special project to construct a new torah in 2006.  So the senior rabbi was thinking about the torahs then.  And he's still there.

So I'm going to show my face around there.  I have an appt with the executive director in a few weeks.  I've just made a contribution to the torah fund.  Think I will do that.again.

I want to collect period bar mitzvah pictures.  Prior to 1960, there weren't bat mitzvahs.  And surely there would be picture of the bar mitzvah boy with the torah.

I'm working on it.  I'm going to attend the Washington State Jewish Historical Society annual meeting this Sunday, I'm going to have a little table for my project.  I'm going to ask for bar mitzvah pictures.

This is doable.  And I can take as much time as I want.  Such a luxury being independent.

Picture from a newspaper articles that I got today from Rabbi Levines chaotic clippings box.  I've been through that box twice and I really hope I don't have to do it again.

They were dedicating their new religious school building in 1951 and they were carrying torahs.

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