Torah as Nazi Notebook Cover
Haaretz has a fascinating piece on a Nazi officer’s notebook, which was covered by a fragment sliced from a Torah scroll. It was given by the Nazi officer’s son to Moti Dotan, the head of the Lower Galilee Regional Council, for him to give to “a holy man in the Lower Galilee.”
What passage might you imagine being most appropriate to the Nazis?
Rabbi Grossman turns over the piece of parchment and reads from the text. The parchment is from the book of Deuteronomy, from the weekly portion “Ki Tavo.” The rabbi reads: “…and distress wherewith thy enemy shall distress thee in thy gates … then the Lord will make thy plagues remarkable, and the plagues of thy offspring, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and severe sicknesses, and of long continuance … also every sickness and every plague which is not written in the book of this Torah, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou art destroyed. And you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of the heaven for multitude” (Deuteronomy 28, 57-62).
Read. Shudder. Repeat.
WOW, what a story; am left speechless
The paragraph was powerful enough without having to add “Read. Shudder. Repeat.” Thanks for making it sound like instructions for Shampoo. Sometimes you have to let things stand on their own.
Sounds a lot like King Josiah finding a sefer torah open to the exact same place in a certain biblical episode…
This is a wonderful story. R. Grossman is an ish tzaddik, and there couldn’t be a more appropriate person to have received this item.
Is anyone else curious about how the was able read and translate the Hebrew and therefore select this fragment.
Does anyone know – Was it intentional or chance?
Can/would you please explain further.
Could this actually have been a message chosen, not by the officer, but by a Jew to send a message about destruction out from captivity or to the future reader and “understander’?
What’s with the thees and thys? Was the Torah given in the Kings English?
Anonymous, the overwhelming likelihood is that this was “coincidence.”
David, ask HaAretz!
“the overwhelming likelihood is that this was ‘coincidence'”
Do you have any idea how stupid that statement sounds? For one, what exactly do you know about this story (heard fourth hand – through a reporter mind you) that gives you such prediction-making abilities? Also, ever hear of occam and how he trimmed his beard?
As for me, I can’t help but reserve judgement on this matter brought to me FOURTH HAND but I will remind you of an exhibit most of you probably saw in the Mt. Zion Holocaust memorial where there’s a Nazi’s jacket made from the Torah and also sewn out of the Tochecha. The exhibit claims that a Jewish tailor was forced to make the coat so he chose the Tochecha as a sort of “shtuch” at the Nazis.
Maybe. I don’t know.
So you think he got a “tailor” for his notebook cover? Re-read the article… it seemed obvious that the fragment wasn’t professionally sewn in.
Update: No one tailored it, apparently; here’s a version of the story with Rabbi Grossman’s own words.