A car and a $30,000 Sefer Torah has been recovered, three days after it was reported stolen near a shul in Brooklyn.
CBS 2 confirmed that sometime after 3 p.m. Monday, police recovered the 2007 Toyota Corolla and the Torah that was inside. The car was not damaged or broken into, police said.
As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, before the Torah was recovered, the Rabbi Binyomin Tamaiev, whose job is to restore Sifrei Torah, was back plying his Monday. But he was thoroughly distraught.
“I feel very bad. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep,” Tamaiev said.
Tamaiev’s small shul rents space in a shul in the 3700 block of 18th Avenue, on the cusp of the Kensington and Flatbush sections of Brooklyn. After restoring the Sefer Torah for a shul in Queens, Tamaiev drove to the Brooklyn shul for Shabbos in a rented car.
When he came inside, he hid his keys near the vault for the main aron kodesh. He took precautions because he had left the Sefer Torah inside the gray 2007 Toyota Corolla.
“In this case it was to correct it; fix it,” said the rabbi’s daughter, Judy Tamaiev. “It was already fixed. He was going to deliver it on Sunday.”
But the car vanished sometime the next day, and was reported stolen around 6 p.m. Motzoei Shabbos.
The thief, who also stole money from tzedakah boxes, may not have known that the Sefer Torah was in the trunk – along with five sets of tefillin.
“He feels like somebody died; like he wants to die,” Judy Tamaiev said. “Terrible.”
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), who had pleaded for the safe return of the Torah earlier, expressed relief at its recovery Monday.
“The safety and sanctity of a Torah scroll means a great deal to our community,” Hikind said in a news release. “The speedy recovery of this sacred scroll is a testimony to our ability to work together and the dedication of our extraordinary Police Commander Mike Dedo. Every last one of us will sleep easier tonight.”
Source: CBS LOCAL