Fragment of a Torah scroll
Fragment of a Torah scroll (Hebrew sefer tora), containing the text of the Torah in Hebrew, handwritten in square script, from Parasha Vajeilech, Devarim 31:1 and onwards (end of text illegible due to soiling of the parchment). The text begins with: וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֗ם בֶּן-מֵאָה֩ וְעֶשְׂרִ֨ים שָׁנָ֤ה אָֽנֹכִי֙ הַיּ֔וֹם. The fragment consists of a specific type of parchment (Hebrew klaf, split skin) of a kosher animal. Written in black ink (Hebrew dejo), probably iron gall ink with soot particles, in Hebrew square script with a quill (Hebrew kulmus, originally a reed) by hand. The parchment is torn at the lower left and has some holes in the upper part.
In 1984, the parchment fragments were found in the house at Rathausgasse 3 in Northeim during renovation work. The Northeim architecture student and carpenter Ulrich Materne had found them "under the flooring of the former kitchen floor"; "they were nailed to the floorboards there" (statement U. Materne in: "Jüdische Pergamente unter Dielen" (Jewish parchments under floorboards), Northeimer Neueste Nachrichten, 16.6.1984). He gave them to the Northeim Museum of Local History in 1984. The house was built in 1823, the floorboards on which the fragments were placed are from the 20th century. The origin of the fragments could not be clarified. On 9. November 1938, the prayer room of the Jewish community in a private house in Northeim (Bahnhofstraße 5, house of the Levy and Bacharach families) was looted and the objects burnt in the courtyard. The fragments could have come from the Torah scroll there; the nearby synagogues of Nörten, Sudheim and Imbshausen were dissolved before the Nazi era; what happened to their Torah scrolls is not known.