April 13, 2024
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April 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

There are many who commented to us at our grandson’s bar mitzvah that we absolutely must write about the fact that Congregation Beth Abraham needed to be evacuated during the Shabbat morning davening due to an electrical problem. Many will remember this simcha as the one where everyone stood on the streets of Bergenfield for an hour as the fire and police departments investigated. We have another very special memory of this day.

Immediately as the building was being emptied our grandson Ari came over to us and told us not to worry as he had “our Torah.”

We need to mention the fact that the Sefer Torah that Yitzchak read from so beautifully came with its own history. Nina’s grandparents who resided in Berlin owned a sefer Torah. When they quickly left Germany in 1938 for Israel, as can be imagined, their life was in total turmoil. A decision as to what to do with the Torah needed to be made prior to the German’s getting hold of it. The only way that they could arrange to quickly get it out of the country was to place it in its aron and then place that into a casket. Voila, they were able to remove it from the dredges of what was happening in Germany and it was on its way to the home of Nina’s parents in New York City. For many years the Torah stood proudly in the Stroock homes in Queens and Long Island. Nina remembers when her brother studied his own parsha directly from the infamous Torah and also was proudly able to use it for his bar mitzvah.

Upon the passing of Nina’s father, the Torah went to the home of her brother Bruce, and after many years he in turn gave it to his son Joshua, who lives in Elizabeth. The Torah was used by Josh and Nomi’s three sons. We were grateful and proud that Yitzchak was able to learn to layn his parsha from it. Not only did it survive so many miles of travel but it also signifies the strength of the Jewish people and the history that our family alone in its small way played in maintaining normalcy in a world that was totally topsy turvy due to the atrocities that the Nazis inflicted upon us.

The Struck’s were a well-known German Jewish family. At one time Felix Yehoshua David Struck was the president of the Hildesheimer Seminary and many well-known scholars spent time in their home (e.g., the Rav). It is heartwarming for us to think about what it would have meant to them to have witnessed this bar mitzvah. Grandchildren who are B’nai Torah, young children reciting brachot without a drop of hesitation, those whose feelings for Eretz Yisroel are strong and passionate and even more resolutely the fact that it was vitally important to make use of this beautiful Torah, which has travelled through generations and oceans to be here.

We are extremely proud of Yitzchak and were able to feel the resonance of his great grandparents shining down upon all of us on Shabbat Parshat Bo.

By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick

 

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