(JTA) – New Torah scrolls were installed simultaneously in two Netherlands synagogues reportedly for the first time in the community’s history.
The Torah scrolls were introduced on Saturday at a synagogue in the west of Amsterdam and in Bussum, a city located some 15 miles southeast of the Dutch capital.
“As far as we know, this was the first time that such a ceremony happened simultaneously in two different locales,” the Organization of the Jewish Communities in the Netherlands, or NIK, wrote on its website.
The installation of the scroll in Bussum was overseen by Holland’s chief interprovincial rabbi, Binyomin Jacobs, who said the scroll was completed recently in memory of a Dutch couple murdered in the Holocaust. Among those on hand for the ceremony were two of their daughters, Emmy and Hanny, and their children.
“From the higher regions, close to Hakadosh Baruch Hu, they are looking down and they see with appreciation and joy that their two daughters are present here, along with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, receiving a new Torah scroll with song and dance,” Jacobs said.
The scroll in Amsterdam replaces a worn-out Torah that had to be restored following decades of use. Officiating at the installation ceremony there, Rabbi Refael Evers said that “for Jews in the Diaspora, the Torah scroll has represented a home.”