Ben Ish Hai Torah scroll leaves Iraq for Israel

An ancient Sefer Torah once possessed by the Iraqi rabbinic luminary Ben Ish Hai (1832-1909) will soon leave Baghdad and come to Israel. This article in Arutz Sheva cites fears that Jewish property will be wrecked by Islamists as one of the main motivations for shipping the scroll out of Iraq. Another is almost certainly to thwart any claim by Iraq that its Jewish heritage belongs to the nation.

The Torah Scroll, estimated to be 400 years old, is one of the oldest in the world. It was written in large, clear letters on thick parchment known as gawil – meaning it was not split while being processed.

The ancient Torah narrowly escaped fire in 1937. It was once used in the synagogue of the acclaimed Rabbi Abdullah and his famous disciple Rabbi Yosef Chaim, the “Ben Ish Hai.” It is very likely both sages read from the scroll for their congregations.

The poor security situation in Iraq – and fears of murder and kidnapping by Islamists among Iraq’s few remaining Jews – has generated concerns rioters may target the remaining synagogue and its treasures, including the Torah scroll.

Kept in the Beit-Zilkain Baghdad, the Torah was removed to safety with covert US military aid – and will leave Iraq for Israel in the coming days.

On Tuesday the Torah will be inducted to the Beer Hana synagogue in Netanya under the auspices of Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, whose family came from Bagdad.

Read article in full

Ben Ish Hai Tora


  • It is happening today Tuesday at the synagogue in Netanya mentioned in the article but you will have to contact them to find out what time.

  • Benjamin, if only all those who such dumb, anti-Israel things were Ashkenazim. But it's not so. Anyhow, instead of complaining about those indoctrinated/brainwashed people –who disgust me too– you should spend your valuable time trying to enlighten and inform about the issues, as Bataween does.

  • Nah. I just look at the 'anti-Zionist' left a bit more then most people. Consequently, I need to shower more because of it.

  • Benjamin, I do not know who you are, but your word stealing is very shocking!
    sultana latifa

  • Waiting to hear a Leftist (inevitably Ashkenazim) condemnation of Israel 'stealing Iraqi history' in 3… 2… 1…

  • BS"D: This is great news. Thanks for reporting this and giving us a chance to find a blog worth reading.


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