Tree of Life Synagogue Torah Cover Damaged in 2018 Terror Attack Emerges on Staten Island

STATEN ISLAND, NY – A Torah cover damaged in the 2018 terrorist attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue, Pittsburgh, in 2018, was on display at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun ​​(CBJ) of Staten Island over the weekend. end last.

David Friedman, a CBJ devotee and event coordinator, said having the Torah cover was a way of speaking to Hebrew students, their families and other worshipers about the incident that took place. was produced four years ago.

In addition to the cover, Friedman and his wife, Sylvia, read “That’s What Friends Do” written by Steven Stoehr, which was written in the wake of the nation’s worst anti-Semitic attack, killing 11 people.

“This story is about a Torah scroll who was present at the Tree of Life Synagogue during the tragic event, and the rabbi who discovers the true meaning of friendship when a new blanket is gifted to him by friends. of the synagogue. Together they help each other to spread the story of that sad day, and the meaning of friendship and tolerance so that something so terrible will never happen again,” said Friedman, who said he learned about the traveling Torah cover and book through email with Contar Stoehr of Illinois, who grew up in Squirrel Hills, the site of the attack.

Stoehr got the ball rolling by gifting the Tree of Life Synagogue with a new Torah cover, and once it was accepted, a deal was struck for the Torah cover to travel to synagogues across the country. America.

“Part of the understanding of the Torah cover is that the Rabbi of the Tree of Life Synagogue agreed to use it once a month in the synagogue, and other times they would graciously let the cover roam the country and parts of Canada,” Friedman said. “When I saw this I thought why don’t we have this here?”

The Torah cover was on display from Friday May 13 to Sunday May 15, where worshipers can view it.

The Torah, described by Friedman, contains many Jewish rituals and symbols, including a moon and stars. There are 11 gold stars which represent those who lost their lives.

“The moon is a symbol of new beginnings,” Friedman said. “The colored beads represented love flowing down a river to reach the Torah community. The beads were made in different colors and sizes, which reminded the Torah and its community that people around the world thought of them and sent them love.

Torah coverage will be back in Pittsburgh in time for its next service.

“That’s What Friends Do” can be purchased from and is about “good deeds, love and tolerance. It’s not about forgiving the murderer, it’s about a way to move on.” something else and remembering the event by having this Torah cover,” Friedman said.

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