The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies announced on Thursday that Megillat Hashoah (the Holocaust Scroll) would for the first time be available online.
The scroll, a joint project of the institute and the International Rabbinical Assembly, was translated into five languages – Hebrew, English, Russian, Spanish and French, all available for download.
Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin, president of the SIJS, welcomed the initiative and said the scroll was intended to reach and unite Jews around the globe for Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“[The scroll] serves as a significant tool for society and religion to commemorate the Holocaust for generations. The scroll was written to be used around the world on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Commemorating a historical event by anchoring it in religious ritual has always been the way of the Jewish religion,” he said.
Megillat Hashoah, written in modern Hebrew with a mix of biblical and rabbinic phrases by Prof. Avigdor Shinan and translated by Rabbi Jules Harlow, was intended to be a unifying text read out loud in synagogues, Jewish community centers and Jewish schools on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Comprised of six chapters commemorating the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust, the scroll addresses several topics – the uniqueness of the Shoah; the labor camp; the ghetto; the death camp – and contains an elegy for the victims and the survivors.
The publication also contains three introductions by Rabbi Reuven Hammer, Golinkin, and Rabbi Philip S. Scheim, as well as poems, prayers and the mourner’s kaddish.
“Just as we remember the destruction of the Temple through the Book of Lamentations and the story of Purim through the Book of Esther, the Holocaust Scroll was written specifically so that the memory of the Holocaust will never be forgotten and to give a unifying meaning to Holocaust Remembrance Day,” said Golinkin.
Megillat Hashoah is available to download in English for free at www.schechter.edu.