Dark Dealers Push
Precious Torah, Cops Come In
18.-RIA NOVOSTI – Two Tajik nationals were caught red-handed in
Moscow’s centre as they tried to sell a Torah scroll, evidently
very old and precious, for US$600,000, reports Colonel Alexander
Vorobyov, chief of PR of the federal Interior Ministry economic
the organised crime squad detained the amateur antiquarians. Experts
are studying the ancient parchment scroll, 17 metres long, to make
a realistic evaluation and detect provenance.
The Sepher Torah
is a copy of the first five books of the Old Testament – Genesis,
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy – whose authorship is
traditionally ascribed to Moses. The scrolls are meticulously made
on special parchment with observation of stringent religious rules,
and preserved in synagogues. Even new scrolls go at exorbitant prices,
and their thefts are rampant.