Yaffa Eliach Collection donated by the Center for Holocaust Studies
Id no. 5015.89, Judaica, Hebrew
This small toy printed Torah scroll belonged to Yocheved Farber (b. 1938), the young daughter of Kalman Farber, a rabbinical student, and his wife, Zipporah. Yocheved and her parents lived in Vilna, Lithuania. The family struggled to survive in the ghetto under the occupation of the Nazis, which began in June, 1941. For the Farber family, observance of the Sabbath and holidays, Jewish dietary laws, regular prayer, and other religious rituals was also a part of the struggle against the Nazis. When Yocheved Farber was among a group of children abducted in a roundup in the ghetto on March 27, 1944, her father recorded this overwhelming event in his diary saying, “There are holy things we simply do not understand until a time in the future when God, blessed be he, might explain them to us.” In fact, Yocheved had been taken away and murdered. Despite the loss of their beloved daughter, Kalman and Zipporah continued to struggle for survival through the final liquidation of the ghetto. While the Nazis rounded up the remaining Jews in Vilna and the surrounding areas in the summer of 1944, Kalman and Zipporah found a hiding place and managed to evade capture even as others were found and shot into mass graves in the nearby forest of Ponary, where tens of thousands of other Jews had been executed during the war. Surviving through the end of the war, Kalman and Zipporah were then among the first of many Holocaust survivors to settle in the land they considered the ancient Jewish homeland, which in 1948 became the State of Israel.
Discover more about this artifact and other stories from the Museum’s collection in, “To Life: 36 Stories of Memory and Hope” http://www.pickmanmuseumshop.com/tolif36storo.html