Much has been written about the concept that men steeped in Torah knowledge should be referred to as "Living Torahs". If one gives honor to letters on parchment, certainly one should extend the same courtesy to those who embody the essence of Torah, by studying it night and day and living by it's precepts.
At one time, the masthead of this blog read: "Blogging about ideas - not people". A LH free blog can easily fall short of it's goal by blogging about individuals. Everyone has detractors, and the CC cautions about giving praise, which invariably leads others to find fault with your subject.
In any event, as discussed on this blog previously, some people are in reality institutions. Some people, do so much good in their brief sojourn on this earth, that it behooves us to broadcast their message so that others are prodded to do likewise. Creating Migdal Ohr and Hebrewbooks.org and The Living Torah Museum, certainly inspires me to make the world a better place for others. Hopefully this blog is at least an minimal attempt in that endeavor.
This past week, Mishpacha magazine featured an article about Rabbi Shimon Shaul Deutch, the founder and curator of The Living Torah Museum. The museum, housed in a residential area of Boro Park, contains countless artifacts from Biblical times. Many of the relics may be touched by the visitors, and RSSD gives fascinating tours which explain in detail the relevance each piece has on Tanach and Chazal.
What fascinates me is that he was able to learn ancient languages, including Egyptian hieroglyphics, Phoenician, Persian Cuneiform and Assyrian. In addition to mastering 11 languages, he is an accomplished author, heads 2 Chessed organizations, worked in Corporate America for many years, yet still finds the time to fundraise for his museum and lead the tours.
In addition to the relics of the past, other parts of the museum house a menagerie of taxidermy, as the fully stuffed animals allow one to view close up the animals of the Torah, particularly what constitutes Mafris Parsah and what does not.
Another section hosts relics from Europe, correspondence and other documents from the pre-war era. Chasam Sofer, Rabbi Akiva Eiger, Malbim and others have their works grace this exhibit.
Yet RSSD is not one to rest on his accomplishments. He is looking to create an almost full size replica of the Mishkan. He is also building a replica of an ancient marketplace to depict how ancient commerce was performed. He is also planning on building another museum in Lakewood, NJ, in addition to the flagship Boro Park site and the satellite site open in the summer time in South Fallsburg, NY.
Personally, I was awed by the museum in South Fallsburg, and I hope to one day visit the Boro Park location. As RSSD says "You have to cover a lot of ground before the ground covers you."
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