Brooklyn Heights Torah Swiped

The folks at Congregation B’nai Avraham thought they were doing a mitzvah when they lent one of their unique handwritten Torahs to a couple who wanted to have a “kosher vacation” in Turks and Caicos. Unfortunately, the borrowers thought it would be safe to leave the holy scroll overnight last Sunday in the back seat of their car parked in Crown Heights.   A thief broke in and stole the Torah.

Rabbi Simcha Weinstein tells BHB, “Obviously we are shocked and saddened and hope to see our precious torah again soon.”   The Brooklyn Paper reports that Rabbi Simcha and Rabbi Aaron Raskin of B’nai Avraham are offering a $1000 reward for the safe return of the Torah, no questions asked.

If you have information about the whereabouts of the Torah call (718) 866-6815.

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  • nabeguy

    I saw this on the news the other night. Probably not the brightest thing for the reporter to mention that the torah in question was worth tens of thousands of dollars, although I’m not sure how anyone would go about pawning it.

  • GHB

    “the borrowers thought it would be safe to leave the holy scroll overnight last Sunday in the back seat of their car parked in Crown Heights.”
    Seriously? I wouldn’t even leave it in my car in Brooklyn Heights!

  • my2cents

    only in new york

  • stew

    Steal the car, not the scroll. What kind of Thief steals a scroll!?

  • brooklynite

    much easier to try to unload a torah for some $$$ hopefully than to hotwire and then know where to take the car for some cash. just looking for some quick and easy drug $$$ probably

  • Just a Neighbor

    Karma’s a bitch, man..people need to start remembering that.

  • Ari

    You guys realize a Torah can be worth upwards of $20K??

  • nabeguy

    Ari, while it’s doubtful that the thief in this case (or any other larceny-minded folks, for that matter), reads this blog, I don’t think it’s a good idea to advertise that fact. Obviously, the poor couple (who should know better) had no idea of its value or how else explain leaving it in the back of a car?

  • my2cents

    The car was parked in Crown Heights. I think it is plenty probably that the thief was aware of the item’s value. If there is any part of the city where people know what a Torah is worth, Crown heights would be one of them. I am sorry, but it is plain old stupid to leave anything of value on plain view in the back of a car, and frankly I am sort of stunned that a synagogue would lend its scroll to someone other than another synagogue. Kosher vacation?? wtf?
    Take a Tanach, not an actual torah!

  • bob

    Sounds too coinsidental like an inside job for insurance or other reason.

  • Sam

    Anyone who would borrow a Torah in order to have services on vacation knows the value. It was asinine for them to leave the Torah unattended in their car in any neighborhood. I hope the Synagogue asks them to replace the scrolls.

    As for a thief who steals a Torah: if you google “Torah cost” you can easily see what it costs.

  • nabeguy

    Not that the actions of the couple in this case can be fully explained or understood, but someone reminded me of a small detail in the story that was omitted, namely that by Jewish law, one is not allowed to sleep under the same roof as a Torah. Of course, putting it in the trunk, or parking in a garage for that matter, may have been the smarter thing to do, but maybe the couple viewed that as some sort of desecration as well.