Evangel University has been given an authentic Torah scroll which survived the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. The scroll was declared no longer be kosher because of damage to the scroll and its age, allowing it to be donated to Evangel’s Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.
The scroll was donated to the AGTS by Ken and Barb Larson, the founders of Slumberland Furniture, and a foundation that gifts scroll declared no longer kosher for students to study and learn scripture.
“We are beyond grateful for the Larsons’ generosity and vision for the study of original Torahs,” Dr. Carol A. Taylor, president of Evangel University, said in a statement. “As I touched the edge of a section of the Torah and marveled at the Hebrew calligraphy, I couldn’t help but wonder what stories this sacred text might tell us.”
This Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, is believed to have been created in either Germany or Poland between 125 and 200 years ago. Hidden during the Holocaust, the scroll was smuggled out of Eastern Europe by Jewish immigrants and taken to Israel.
The Larsons begam to use their foundation to provide Torahs to seminaries after discovering that many seminaries do not possess an actual Torah, and that many teachers who teach Hebrew have never been able to teach students using an actual Torah.
“Our goal is that the [donated] Torahs will never be put away,” Barb Larson said in a statement. “We want it to be used, studied, loved, cherished and shared with the community.”
In addition to their work providing Torahs to seminaries, the Larson’s foundation conducts relief work in Haiti.