Fanya and Basya K. – Pinsk, Belarus

Hello [to] all the friends that know my sister Basya and me.

We received your letter, thank you very much for not forgetting about us. When we read your letter, we cried because of how much you care for us.

Today we are going to a party to celebrate Chanukah. We have been invited by Moesha, he is a teacher our Jewish school. This school is for girls and boys only of Jewish decent, where the mother has to be Jewish. We go to the Synagogue every Saturday, that’s the only place we have to go to. Sometimes we get invited to Shabbat, there we have some tea, sing some songs and it is a lot more pleasant then to stay home.

Now a little bit about me, on January 4th I will be going to the hospital to see what the doctor says about my eye surgery. I think I will do the surgery because I need to save my eyes. I never thought I would be sick in my old age; my mother lived to be 90. She was never sick and she died quietly reading a newspaper. My sister Basya is also sick; she has a problem with her left knee. She tried shots, different remedies but nothing is helping. Basya always had difficult physical work. She is small, but she kept up with men at work. What can we do? We live as long as G-d gives us.

… I am including… an article from our newspaper “Berega.” This newspaper is published in Minsk, we have a monthly subscription.

Article “Torah found belonging to old Jewish community”

In the fall of 1941 German fascists killed all the Jews in the small city of Smelovech. After 65 years a Jewish museum received a phone call from Michael Sherboy. He informed the museum that in the attic of his house he found a Torah. He lives in a little village named Dykora, which is very close to Smelovech. Very carefully the Torah was extracted from the attic and given to the museum. “It is incredible that the Torah was found right before Simhas Torah. It also a strange coincidence that the Torah was found before the 65th Anniversary of the death of Jewish community at Smelovech” said the museum director.

As was find out later the grandfather of Michael Sherboy was at Smelovech in 1941 and he found the Torah and brought it home. Much later when he was building a new house he used the Torah as insulation in his attic. Historians are telling us the Torah was written 19th century and it wasn’t badly damaged. It needs to be restored and Belarus Jews are hoping to get a specialist from Israel and Moscow. In the future the Torah will be at the museum of Jewish History of Belarus. When Michael Sherboy gave the Torah to the museum, he had one condition; the Torah cannot leave Belarus.

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