The Sefer Torah that was stolen from the Beis Menachem Shul in the Shaarei Chessed neighborhood of Jerusalem was found and returned to its rightful owners.
The Torah was stolen about a week ago by a Haredi man with a history of mental illness, who routinely steals religious items and tries to sell them.
After stealing the Torah, the man pried off the silver lining on the Atzei Chaim that bears the name of the owner, so that it could not be identified. He then took the Torah to a Sta”m Merchant in central Israel with a sob story that he inherited this Torah from his uncle and needed to sell it to have food for Yomtov.
The merchant took pity on the man and purchased the Torah for a mere 8,000 Shekel (about $2,000).
After many news sources reported the Torah missing, the story came to the attention of the merchant’s wife, who showed the photos of the stolen Torah to her husband. He immediately realized that this was the Torah he had purchased, and contacted the shul’s rabbi to have it returned.
In the above photo, the Shul’s rabbi, Itche Meir Segal, can be seen checking the Torah’s Atzei Chaim together with the Gershon Fraenkel, whose family commissioned the Torah in honor of their silver wedding and in memory of their loved ones.
The thief’s identity is known to the police and he is currently being sought.
Thanks a lot for all of you who helped and shared! BH we will dance with it on Simchat Torah!