JERUSALEM (Nov. 4)
Israel is urgently appealing to synagogues in the U.S. and Canada for Sefer Torahs and sets of tefilin, mainly for army use. Rabbi Eliahu Marcus of the Ministry for Religious Affairs, leaves for New York tomorrow to start a four-week tour of major American communities for this purpose on behalf of his ministry and army chaplaincy. Rabbi Marcus hopes to collect 1000 scrolls and 5000 sets of tefilin. As he receives them, he will dispatch them by El Al to Israel.
Many of the scrolls will be used for front line synagogues at new positions and to replace damaged or captured army scrolls. Some of them will be placed in civilian synagogues in memory of individual soldiers or groups of soldiers who died in the war.
Rabbi Marcus told the JTA of the first request from a bereaved parent. This morning Mrs. Mazal Amar of Herzliya called at his office to ask for a Sefer Torah at her local synagogue in the name of her dead son. Rabbi Marcus had to tell her his stock was depleted and he was going to America to get more. The tefilin will all go to combat troops. The army chaplains report that many soldiers who previously did not use tefilin are now requesting them. Rabbi Marcus will visit Miami, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago and Montreal.