On Shabbat Shlach Lecha Shir Hayim, Hampstead Reform Community welcomed Rufus Francis and his wife Naomi into the congregation to see the Torah Scrolls they rescued in action. The service was a joyous affair, with lots of explanation for our visitors and a chance for for us to show them the text in the scrolls up close. As it was Shabbat Rosh Chodesh there was much to celebrate with the whole community singing Hallel together.
The scrolls were stolen from Rabbi Larry Tabick’s house on 22 March . Nearly three weeks later, Mr Francis found the scrolls at the Bentley Heath Cricket Club in Barnet, where he is the welfare officer. He was alerted to the story in the Jewish Chronicle about the search for the scrolls by his neighbour, and so was able to protect the scrolls from further damage and to persuade the police to come quickly so that they could be returned to the community . One of the scrolls was in perfect condition and the other may require some minor repairs.
The community presented him and his wife with some glass candlesticks and a signed copy of the Rabbi Tabick’s book to show their gratitude for the scroll’s safe return
Shir Hayim is a small friendly welcoming Reform community, services are held every Friday evening at 6.15 pm and every Shabbat morning at 10:30 am at Hashomer House, 37a Broadhurst Gardens. They enthusiastically welcome visitors and anyone interested in membership.