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October 12, 1990 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-10-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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"To be honest with you, I
don't think you'll ever
receive this," the officer
said, pointing to the crate. "I
advise you, whatever you
are especially concerned
about you should place in
the trunk you'll take with
you on the boat."
Mr. Roberg tried to place
the Torah in the trunk. But
it wouldn't fit.
"Are these atzei chaim
(handles) also holy, or may I
cut them?" the man asked.
Mr. Roberg told the man
the handles were not holy.
Then the officer found a saw
and cut the handles until the
Torah fit in the trunk.
The Robergs settled in
Detroit, where Mrs. Roberg's
uncle lived. Mrs. Roberg
found a position as a music
teacher at United Hebrew
Schools; her husband work-
ed at UHS as a teacher, then
one year later was named
principal.
Mr. Roberg became a
founder of Gemilus
Chasodim, a burial society

and Orthodox synagogue for
refugees from Nazi Ger-
many. He allowed his Sefer
Torah to be used for the syn-
agogue's services until 1964,
when the congregation
changed its identity and
became Beth Hillel. In 1971,
Beth Hillel merged with
Beth Abraham and later
with Beth Moses, becoming
Beth Abraham Hillel Moses.
Today, the Torah is in Mr.
Roberg's home. Its handles
remain sawed off and Mr.
Roberg intends to keep them
that way, "to remind us of
its history."
The Torah is still used
from time to time. When any
of the Roberg family is bar
mitzvah, he reads from the
Sefer Torah with the short
handles.
"There were thousands of
students who read from this
Torah" at the seminary in
Germany, Mr. Roberg says.
"Now we want our grand-
children —also students —
to use it. That's why, I think,
the director gave it to us." ❑

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