76 Torah fragments


Parchment, ink

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.