76 Torah fragments
Donated by Pál Takács, 1942
In 1942 Pál Takács sent two pieces of Torah scrolls to the museum with the comment that he had bought them from a shoe-maker who intended to use the parchment as shoe-lining. Under Jewish law Torah scrolls that have become unfit for use should be buried in a dignified manner so that the most respected object revered by the Jews, the Torah, should not be exposed to any indecency. Because of the respect for the Torah, when founding a Jewish museum the question always arises whether it is permitted to show Torah scrolls at all in the absolutely profane environment of a museum. Though the history of the Torah scroll fragments have their Jewish cultural roots, yet we can see them in a museum environment only when they are exhibited not as a Torah, but as the raw material of it. With the humiliation of the scroll, thus of the Jewish religion, a new object is created, which is no longer a Torah scroll, but should be treated as a relic reminding of the desecration of Jewish sacred objects.