300-Year-Old Torah Scroll on Display Sept. 1 at University of Mobile
One-Day Display Allows Visitors to Touch Scroll, Learn History
MOBILE, Ala. – A 300-year-old Torah scroll from Germany that was rescued from the Nazis and survived the Holocaust will be on display Sept. 1 at University of Mobile.
Visitors may touch the historic artifact at the free exhibit, and see its finer details using a magnifying glass. The scroll will be on display from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Martin Hall on the UM campus, 5735 College Pkwy, off I-65 at Exit 13. A brief talk about the history and significance of the scroll will begin at 10 a.m. and again at 12:30 p.m.
“Most people will only be able to see something like this behind a glass case in a museum, so being able to touch this scroll is really a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Mike Bossman, a vice president of Ratio Christi, a global movement that equips university students and faculty to give historical, philosophical and scientific reasons to follow Jesus.
He said the 93-foot scroll is an Ashkenazi, or eastern European, Torah scroll. It is one of the few that survived Kristallnacht in 1938, when Nazis burned 267 synagogues and destroyed more than 800 scrolls. This scroll was donated in February to Ratio Christi after it had been retired from use, and has been shown on university campuses and churches across America. A portion of the lengthy scroll will be unrolled for display.
Dr. Doug Wilson, dean of University of Mobile School of Christian Studies, said the Jewish scroll from 1750 has great significance for students and faculty at the Christian university.
He said the Torah points to the spiritual, textual and theological heritage of Christians.
“UM Christian Studies majors study biblical Hebrew, and they study the Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, to understand that the God who promised in the Old Testament fulfills his promises through Jesus Christ in the New Testament,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the one-day display is a rare opportunity to see “the amazing textual accuracy of the Torah scrolls, generation after generation. The Hebrew scrolls are still prepared and written by hand, just as they were in 1750 and have been since before the days of Jesus. Every letter and every detailed stroke of the pen is significant, pointing to the care given by the scribes, who counted every letter, every line, every column.”
About University of Mobile:
University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in over 40 areas of study. Founded in 1961, University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.