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Friday, December 19, 2008

Gush Katif Torah scroll sold on eBay?

If this story turns out to be true, it's disgraceful.

A Torah scroll from Gush Katif that disappeared after the expulsion two years has been sold by an anonymous seller on eBay for $1500. Worse still, the scroll was from a German Jewish community from before World War II and it survived the Holocaust 'mostly unscathed.'
After the war, the scroll was purchased by an English family, who donated it to the Naot Katif elementary and middle school in Neve Dekalim in 1999. However, during the disengagement, it was one of two Torah scrolls that went missing along with other items from the school's synagogue.

Now the scroll has reappeared on on the on-line auction site, where it is listed as sold for a winning bid of about $1,500. While the site does not say when the item was first listed for sale, bidding for the Torah scroll began in late November. The seller, listed only as "tlv-vintage," posted the item's location as Ramat Gan.

The seller's description of the item goes on to mention that "the settlement was evacuated two years ago, and they had no use to it [sic]...I bought that beautiful item."
But the people who lived in Gush Katif say that's a lie.
Ephraim Tashnady, the former principal of Naot Katif, refuted that statement, telling The Jerusalem Post by phone on Thursday, "There's no way we sold it to him. Before we left Neve Dekalim, the security forces told us, 'Don't touch anything, we'll come and pack everything up and move it for you.' The Education Ministry was supposed to be responsible for all of the items, because they belonged to the school, and they said that everything was going to be put in containers and moved."
Tashnady, who now lives in the caravans of Nitzan with many other former residents of Gush Katif, says that none of the items from the synagogue have ever been recovered. Did the government make off with them? Were they left for the 'Palestinians' who are now selling them off? Once again, the clueless Israeli government apparently has no answers and is not interested in finding any.

It's been three years since all of the Jews of Gaza were expelled from their homes. Some people are still living in that reality. Many others have forgotten.

By the way, I should mention that the price of a Torah scroll is typically $30,000-$50,000 depending upon the quality of the writing and its condition. It takes a scribe working full time about a year to write one.


At 8:15 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Has anybody contacted Ebay? By even reporting to them that stolen merchandise was sold it should bring them to start an investigation and possibly bring the issue out.

Do you know the item listing number? If you have any information about the buyer or seller or anything else about the transaction, perhaps I can report it to Ebay, even if it has already been done.

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

OK, i found that the ebay's username is ' tlv-vintage ', according to this website (http://www.vosizneias.com/24494/2008/12/18/jerusalem-missing-torah-from-gush-katif-sold-on-ebay/)

I could not find this Torah scroll in his items sold in the last 15 days..

Anyway, the link to file a report to ebay is here:

It probably wouldn't hurt to report this and let them try to contact the appropriate authorities to handle stolen goods and G-d Willing put the Torah scroll back in the hands of its owners.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

This tlv-vintage guy seems to have a quite a few old Sifrei Torah which have been selling for very cheap.


Something is not right.

At 1:13 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Jeff and Chakratronic,

I had the guy's ebay seller name before I wrote the post, but I could not find the Sefer Torah on the site.

I haven't really been on ebay in a long time until last night. Do they list who the buyer was?


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