(photo credit: (The Yorck Project/WikiCommons))
Sixty-year old Tzadok Nachshoni becomes emotional when he unfurls two megilah scrolls that belonged to his parents and grandparents in Yemen.
The retired educator from Israel's central city of Nes Tziona recently allowed the Jerusalem Post to photograph the scrolls, which were then examined by experts at the Jewish National and University Library at Hebrew University.
The first, estimated to be between 200 and 300 years old, was written
in Yemen on a specially prepared red, leather-like parchment known in
Hebrew as Gvil. The first panel of the megillah consists of a prayer,
preceding the megilah text, which begins on the following panel.
The second megilah, written on white parchment, is thought to have been
written in Israel at the end of the 19th century following the aliyah of
Yemenite Jews to the Holy Land.
Nachshoni comes from a family of rabbis and scholars. His father, Rabbi
Shalom, his mother, Shoshana, and a grandmother, Yafa, immigrated to
Israel from Yemen in 1949 as part of the massive Yemenite airlift known
as Operation Magic carpet. They brought with them the megilahs and a
Torah. Shalom was 110 years old when he died. Shoshana was 107. And
grandmother Yafa was lived to be 119.
Nachshoni is a deeply religious man. He expressed his gratitude to the
Almighty for, in his words, entrusting him with the responsibility of
safeguarding these scrolls.