RABBI OVADIAH YOSEF
RISHON LeZION and PRESIDENT, COUNCIL, of TORAH SAGES
12 Adar II 5765
To: Rabbi Shimon Alouf, Shalita
Congregation Ahaba V’Ahva
Brooklyn, New York
I feel it is appropriate to approach you since on your last visit on 21 Adar I 5765 you once again sought my assistance in the ongoing effort of many years standing to release those Torah scrolls which remain yet in Egypt, the majority of them, numbering one-hundred and twenty-eight, cached in the synagogues “Sha’ar Hashamayim” in Cairo and “Elaihu Hanabi” in Alexandria, where they languish, awaiting a redeemer.
I was greatly encouraged to learn that you have not abandoned this cause which is most important. Now as in the past, I offer you my continued support and encouragement in your tireless efforts. I too will do everything in my power to redeem these Torah scrolls that have been closeted away in Egypt like an immoveable boulder.
I have also written a detailed letter on this issue to the Egyptian Foreign Minister, and I appealed to him to do everything in his power to release the court records and Torah scrolls and restore them to Jewish possession as was the will of their owners who loaned them to the synagogues for public use in accordance with the advice of the Chief Rabbi of Egypt, the sage, Rabbi Rephael Aharon ben Shimon zt’l, in his book Nehar Misrayim.
Once again I reiterate and affirm my unwavering support for you, for all in your sacred congregation of Ahaba V’ Ahva and for the leaders of the Historical Society of Egyptian Émigrés of which you are the honorary president. I urge you to persist diligently in your efforts to release the scrolls and the records. This mission is truly the actualization of “Pidyon Shevuyim” “redemption of captives”. I am confident that in end your goals will be realized and you will be blessed for your role in effecting this redemtption. May the Almighty be with you as He was with your forefathers from now and forever, Amen.
With the greatest respect and true friendship,
Ovadiah Yosef.Arabic Translation
French Translation - Français