SCRANTON — A few months back, we told you about a temple in Scranton that found a 150-year-old Torah. It’s believed to be the congregation’s original set of scrolls.
A rabbi who lives in Israel was in Scranton Tuesday to help breathe new life into the ancient scripture.
Line by line, with a delicate touch and deep concentration, the stories of ancient Jewish history are coming back to life, thanks to Rabbi Gedlaiah Druin.
This is what Rabbi Druin does for a living.
“It’s not my Torah. I’m just here as a doctor, serving those who are guarding these children,” said Rabbi Druin.
That’s what he calls the Torah: a child. He’s spent the last 40 years restoring scrolls like these.
This child is roughly 150 years old. Temple Hesed in Scranton discovered it months ago and learned it is likely the congregation’s original set of scrolls brought here from Europe.
“The truth is this is a very young Torah. When you say 150 years, 200 years, boy, wow. But no, a Torah should last hundreds and hundreds and thousands and thousands of years. Making ink is part of the secret,” said Rabbie Druin.
Rabbi Druin will spend three days here repairing this and another Torah for the temple. Some of the things Rabbi Druin has to fix with this Torah are letters that have chipped or ink that has run, causing letters to touch each other.
“Every letter is supposed to be there and clear and ready to be read,” said Rabbi Daniel Swartz, of Temple Hesed.
Rabbi Swartz, who leads Temple Hesed, says this restoration will be worth the wait.
“To have him here, and to have people excited, and to keep learning and to watch just the flow of what’s going on is just beautiful,” said Rabbi Swartz.
Rabbi Druin is unrolling the scrolls and history at the same time.