Two New Torah Scrolls Added to Altneuschul Synagogue in Prague

March 20, 2017, 1:00 PM

On Sunday, two new Torah scrolls, which were written in Israel, were added to the historic Old-New Synagogue in Prague, according to a report by newsru.co.il.

The scrolls were funded by donations from members of the Jewish community of Prague.

Frantisek Banai, the deputy head of the Jewish community of Prague, noted in a statement that “for the first time in many long years when Torah scrolls were destroyed and burned, the Jewish community and its rabbi are celebrating new Torah scrolls. This is the best expression coming out of the growth of Prague’s Jewish community.”

Today, the Jewish community in Prague is comprised of an estimated 15-20 thousand Jews.

The Old New Synagogue a.k.a. Altneuschul, located in Josefov, Prague, is Europe’s oldest active synagogue and the oldest surviving medieval synagogue of twin-nave design.

Legend has it that the body of the Golem, which was created by the “Maharal” (Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel) from Prague, lies in the attic where the genizah of Prague’s community is kept. According to legend, a Nazi agent tried to enter the genizah during World War II and died there. The Gestapo apparently did not enter the synagogue’s attic during the war, and the building was spared. Today, the lowest three meters of the stairs leading to the attic from the outside have been removed and the attic is not open to the general public.

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