South Korea community gets its first Torah scroll


South Korea's tiny Jewish community has been given its first Torah scroll.

The scroll was welcomed at an event on Sunday in Seoul, attended by the Israeli ambassador, Tuvia Israeli, and Rabbi Osher Litzman, head of the community.

Rabbi Litzman, who has led South Korea's Jewish community for four years, said he was delighted with the new arrival. Until now, the community has been served by scrolls loaned to it.

"We have waited a long time for this to happen and now it's finally here. It's a big milestone in the development of our Jewish community," he said.

Mr Israeli added: "Each one of us should be very happy and thankful to live in Korea through this important step. Of course, this will not be finished until we have our own synagogue, but as Rabbi Litzman says, this will come.

"If there is any other reason this gathering is important, that's to show there is Jewish life in Korea," he added.

Pierre Cohen-Aknine, who has lived in the country for 30 years, said having a Torah was "like living for the first time".

South Korea's estimated 100 Jews - many of them former US servicemen - have historically gathered at the Christian chapel of a US army base for Shabbat and festivals. There has been a Chabad presence in the country since 2008.

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