Torah Scrolls Burned In September Synagogue Fire Damaged Again in Garage Fire

DULUTH, Minn. – The Torah scrolls that were damaged when the Adas Israel Synagogue burned down in September were inside a garage that caught fire on Sunday in Duluth.

According to Adas Israel Synagogue board of directors member Mike Baddin, the garage was rented by a member of the congregation who offered the space to store the damaged scrolls.

In a text message to FOX21, Baddin wrote that “it evokes a great deal of raw emotion…after the devastating loss of the synagogue and its irreplaceable contents along with the knowledge that regardless of our future plans, nothing will ever be the same.”

Rabbi Philip Sher with the synagogue said the four damaged scrolls were being held onto so that they could be properly buried at a later time, which is customary in the Jewish faith when sacred items are damaged and cannot be repaired or salvaged.

The remnants of the scrolls from the garage fire will still need to be buried, Rabbi Sher said.

The garage that caught fire was on the 300-block of East 2nd Street in the Central Hillside neighborhood. The cause of the fire hasn’t been determined yet.

At least half a dozen other Torah scrolls were preserved from the Adas Israel synagogue fire in September, and were not being stored in the garage that caught fire.

The Adas Israel board of directors has not made a decision on whether or not the synagogue will be rebuilt.

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