250-year-old Torah heading to Alex
The sacred scroll survived Kristallnacht in Germany.
A 250-year-old Torah that survived a devastating assault on Jewish homes, schools, businesses and synagogues in 1938 Nazi Germany is coming to Alex.
It will be at the Unity Foundation's Faith@Work luncheon from noon-1 p.m. Friday, June 18, at the Broadway Ballroom.
Speaker Ken Larson, founder of Slumberland Furniture, will bring the scroll from the ministry he and his wife, Barbara, began. Called God’s Ancient Library, the ministry gives old, rare Torah scrolls to Bible schools and seminaries. In the last six years, they have given 85 Torahs to schools around the world.
This Torah was in use at a synagogue during Kristallnacht, when Nazis broke shop windows, desecrated Jewish cemeteries and torched synagogues. Larson said he will share the story behind the scroll during the luncheon. It was a spate of violence that began the Holocaust.
“It’s shocking and it’s unbelievable and it makes people cry,” he said.
Torahs are read aloud each week in synagogue, and comprise the first five books of the Old Testament. Copied by hand, they take a year to write on animal skins by teams of four scholars, Larson said — one reading aloud, one checking that the words read aloud are accurate, one writing and one checking to make sure the words written are accurate.
Larson said his organization only buys Torahs that can no longer be used in synagogue because they have developed flaws, and are considered non-kosher.
Larson has served in multiple healthcare, business and religious non-profit organizations. The ministries he currently serves are Trans World Radio, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and the Joshua Fund, a ministry for Israel and its neighboring countries.
He also founded the 40 Winks, a non-profit foundation that gives new beds to kids that are sleeping on the floor. To date, 40 Winks has given more than 45,000 new beds to kids in the Midwest.
Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased online or at the door. Make reservations in advance either at june21fw.eventbrite.com or email: UnityFoundationAlex@gmail.com.