A flame from post-Holocaust Jewish life in Poland brought to Israel

The Ner HaTamid [Eternal Light] was honored at the central synagogue in Tanow, Poland. The building was destroyed, but now found its way to Israel.

December 23, 2018 16:57
1 minute read.
A flame from post-Holocaust Jewish life in Poland brought to Israel

Ner HaTamid from Tarnow was returned to Jewish hands by a local Pole . (photo credit: SHEM OLAM)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


For 73 years, the only known physical evidence of the once-thriving Jewish life in the Polish city of Tarnow was the bima (stage on which Jewish worshipers read the Torah) that survived after the Germans looted and burned the synagogue down, bringing to an end a Jewish community that thrived since the 15th century and included one half of Tarnow’s residents.

And then Rabbi Avraham Kriger, from the Shem Olam Faith and Holocaust Institute, received a phone call.

On the other end was a Polish resident of Tarnow with news: During the years of German occupation, his father accumulated various Jewish artifacts, including the ner tamid (the sanctuary lamp that burns constantly) that hung in the now-demolished synagogue.
The function of the lamp in synagogues is to serve as a reminder of the eternal light in the Temple that stood in Jerusalem.
The lamp was not made from any precious metals, and so it was discarded by the Germans. The Polish man asked Rabbi Kriger if perhaps Shem Olam and the Jewish community would like to have it back.

Many Jewish objects were taken by non-Jews during the German occupation of Poland.  

With the collapse of socialist Poland and the creation of the new Polish democracy, the new administration returned publicly owned Jewish assets, such as houses of prayer, graveyards and bath houses, to current Jewish communities. Likewise, many Poles also returned Jewish items to the newly opened Polin Museum to be displayed.

Noting that “most among those who have such items trade them in or horde them” and don’t return them to Jewish hands, Kriger stressed how unique it is to have had the chance to bring such a historical Jewish item to Israel.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

MK Amir Ohana
July 17, 2019
Has the education budget surpassed defense budget in Israel?


Cookie Settings