Saturday, April 01, 2006

Torah Mantle - returned

TorontoStar: When Gavriel Wesel came safely home to Vienna after World War I, his wife, Miriam, sewed a cover for a Torah scroll at their synagogue to give thanks to God. This week, 87 years later, the cover was returned to the New York grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Wesels, who have died. The return took place in the office of New York Governor George Pataki, who established the world's only public agency that helps Nazi victims and their heirs recover looted properties. Because the Torah cover survived in a Nazi-annexed country during World War II, it is considered extremely rare. The Nazis looted or destroyed almost all ceremonial or ritual Jewish objects, called Judaica. "We gave up on it," said Aaron Bauer of Brooklyn, the Wesels' grandson. "This is a miracle. They destroyed I don't know how many thousands of things, and this one we found, and now we are getting it. Many people donated things (to the synagogue), and everything was lost........
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