2013-05-31 / Community

A Fitting Farewell For Sandy Damaged Torah


Rabbi Eytan Feiner, Rabbi of Congregation Kneseth Israel, delivers a hesped (eulogy) for the destroyed Torah Scrolls. Photos By Laura Deckelman Rabbi Eytan Feiner, Rabbi of Congregation Kneseth Israel, delivers a hesped (eulogy) for the destroyed Torah Scrolls. Photos By Laura Deckelman According to Jewish law, when a Torah scroll is badly damaged or destroyed, it has to be buried. To respect this tradition, the Far Rockaway community held a funeral in honor of the Torah damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

A community-wide levaya (funeral) was held for twelve Sifrei Torah scrolls that were destroyed by the storm.

The levaya took place at Congregation Kneseth Israel, locally known as the White Shul on Sunday, May 26th. The White Shul is located on Empire/Sage Avenue in Far Rockaway.

The Torah is Judaism’s most important text, containing the Five Books of Moses and also the 613 commandments (mitzvot) and the Ten Commandments. Traditionally the Torah is handwritten by a sofer or scribe who must copy the text perfectly. The scroll is then wound on two wooden poles.


Loading the damaged Torah scrolls onto a truck for the procession to a Jewish cemetery for burial. Loading the damaged Torah scrolls onto a truck for the procession to a Jewish cemetery for burial. The word “Torah” means “to teach.”



Many turned out to properly honor the Torah scrolls destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Many turned out to properly honor the Torah scrolls destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.

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