TC Christian was blessed this week with a visit from the Ratio Christi Campus Apologetics Alliance. They brought with them an authentic Ashkenazi Torah scroll (first five books of Moses), handwritten in 1750 AD. Torahs are Judaism’s most sacred objects. A Sofer, or ritual scribe, takes up to a year to craft a Torah before it is stored in the synagogue ark and read during services.
This massive handwritten Hebrew artifact actually survived Nazi Germany. During “Kristallnacht” – the Night of Broken Glass on Nov. 9, 1938 – windows were smashed at Jewish businesses and synagogues that were ransacked across Germany. Thousands of Torahs were destroyed.
14-year-old Isaac Schwartz saved one scroll from a Hamburg synagogue that had been torched. Isaac buried the Torah in the backyard of his Hamburg home before the family escaped to Venezuela. It was recovered after World War II, its parchment torn and writing faded. It went through 18 months of rehabilitation as a Sofer rewrote the faded letters and replaced torn pieces.
Ratio Christi is now entrusted as the caretaker of this historic artifact which was presented to discuss the historical reliability of Scripture. TC Christian students got an up close and personal look at this beautiful piece of history, handwritten on 100 animal hides sewn together to create a single rolled page. They learned about the care of copying manuscripts and the reliability of the Bible. In the process they also learned about the courage of God’s faithful who resisted persecution to protect His Word. It was a special time.