The Living Torah Comes To Baltimore


living-torah-museumBy Eli Pollock

Last Sunday October 10, Baltimore was home to The Living Torah Museum of Boro Park. The museum’s founder and director, Rabbi Shaul Deutsch, captivated audiences, both young and old, with presentations of his facts and artifacts. Based at the JCC (Park Heights) on Sunday, nearly eight hundred people attended a total of six one-hour shows covering the periods of the Patriarchs, ancient Egypt, and the era of the Talmud. On Sunday night and Monday, Rabbi Deutsch loaded the museum onto a van, taking the show on the road to 1500 students at six local schools including Bais Yaakov, Beth Tfiloh, Ner Israel, Rambam, Talmudical Academy, and Torah Institute.

This community-wide event was the first annual benefit project for the Baltimore Shadchan Inc. which employs a full time shadchan to work exclusively on behalf of Baltimore singles. To date he has made 16 matches. Having someone whose only loyalty is to our community is a crucial resource to people in the dating parsha.

Entertaining the audience with stories of why and how he began his museum eight years ago, Rabbi Deutsch held up a copy of the prestigious Biblical Archaeological Review in which a five-page article about his museum appeared in the 2004 edition. He also described how fifty of the world’s top scientists were sent to his museum to conduct testing for six months, validating the authenticity of his finds.

Rabbi Deutsch has a motto, “If you touch history, it touches you.” This is why his interactive demonstrations invited volunteers from the audience to come on the stage and to handle items valued in the millions of dollars and then to walk them around through the audience who were eager to see, hold, and touch them. In fact, his participants not only marveled at his astounding knowledge, his obvious love for history and the Jewish people, but also at his willingness, even insistence, to share his finds so personally with them.

Making history come to life, his demonstrations included leading a volunteer across the stage in ancient iron handcuffs, posing a child in a military helmet and shield from the times of King David, and fitting a child’s foot in an $85,000 shoe made of the same material (papyrus) as the basket in which Moses as a baby floated in the Nile River.

A wooden bedpost which had the name of its owner written in Egyptian Hieroglyphics, one of eleven languages that he reads, was shown. That bedpost which he taught a child in the audience how to read in a mere two minutes was the type of bedpost to which the Jews tied their Karbon Pesach sacrificial offering before leaving Egypt. Clay contracts written 3,500 years ago in the times of the Patriarchs were exhibited as well as ancient pottery, jewelry, clothing, and oil lamps.

Rabbi Deutsch honored his Baltimore audience by allowing us the first glimpse of a new artifact just brought up two weeks ago from the Mediterranean Sea where in fact many of his discoveries have been lifted from ancient shipwrecks. Not even cleaned and identified yet, it was a glob of coins and weapons cemented together with coral on it.

The audience brimmed with excitement as they tried to answer his challenging questions for which they were offered valuable prizes. Over the course of two days, Rabbi Deutsch gave away five gorgeous “Ketores” wall plaques valued each at $100, an item he described as a proven merit for the protection of children and insurance against fires, as well as various CD’s featuring different rooms in his museum and certificates to the museum.

After any one-hour presentation, his participants gained a new understanding of why our Torah is compared to the deep sea. In fact, the deep waters of the world have preserved much of our 3,500 year history.

If you missed it this year, you can look forward to attending next year when the Living Torah Museum is scheduled to return to Baltimore for the second annual Baltimore Shadchan community and school program.

For more information about Baltimore Shadchan or to purchase some of the museum merchandise, please contact them at or 410.358.6253.

{Baltimore Jewish Life/}