Torah restorer must have info verified
A Rockville-based non-profit accused of fabricating the history of Torahs to make them sound more dramatic has reached a deal with Maryland officials that it can only advertise such stories if they can be independently verified.
The agreement between Save A Torah, which restores and sells old Torahs, the attorney general's office and the secretary of state's office ends an official investigation that began about six months ago after The Washington Post magazine ran a story about the controversy and the main Torah-restorer, Rabbi Menachem Youlus. The article quoted people challenging some of the rescue stories, including that one Torah was found under the floorboards of a concentration camp barracks.
Asked if the probe found evidence of fraud, Raquel M. Guillory, spokeswoman for Attorney General Doug Gansler, said only that the investigation is over and that the agreement signed earlier this month "addresses all the concerns our office had and clarifies how the company will do business going forward."
A phone message and email left for Save A Torah were not immediately answered, but the group did an internal probe after the Post article ran. Its statement about the probe can be found on the group's Web site, and says independent investigators "found no evidence to contradict any information provided by Rabbi Youlus to the purchasers of his Torahs."
Read the agreement.
Washington Post editors
| July 28, 2010; 1:36 PM ET
Categories: Crime and Public Safety, Maryland
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