Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Burying Ukrainian Torahs

The government of Ukraine is returning old Torah scrolls to local synagogues, according to Radio Free Europe:

The Central State Historical Archive in the Ukrainian city of Lviv have returned 14 Torah fragments to a local Jewish congregation, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Mordehai Shlomo Bold, the chief rabbi of Lviv, told RFE/RL that the Torah fragments he received from the archive will be buried, in accordance with Jewish customs. Bold said Jewish tradition requires them to bury the holy book pieces in the same way a human is buried because it is considered "dead," or impossible to restore.

Four other Ukrainian cities are planning to give very old copies or portions of a Torah to Jewish communities based on a presidential decree signed in 2007.

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