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Old Torah Fragments To Be Buried In Ukraine

LVIV -- The Central State Historical Archive in the Ukrainian city of Lviv have returned 14 Torah fragments to a local Jewish congregation, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Mordehai Shlomo Bold, the chief rabbi of Lviv, told RFE/RL that the Torah fragments he received from the archive will be buried, in accordance with Jewish customs. Bold said Jewish tradition requires them to bury the holy book pieces in the same way a human is buried because it is considered "dead," or impossible to restore.

Four other Ukrainian cities are planning to give very old copies or portions of a Torah to Jewish communities based on a presidential decree signed in 2007.

Ukraine is home to the third-largest Jewish community in Europe and the fifth-largest Jewish community in the world. Most Ukrainian Jews live in Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, and Odesa.