Turkish media outlets reported Sunday, February 19, 2023 that the Israeli rescue team, which came to Turkey to help in efforts to get survivors from under the rubble in the devastating earthquake disaster, smuggled Turkish historical manuscripts to Israel.
According to the Turkish “Khabarlar” website, after the earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş, Israel like many countries, sent a rescue team to Turkey to support search and rescue efforts in the earthquake areas.
A remarkable event was reported by the Turkish media while the Israeli team was on its way back to Israel after completing its work in the earthquake zones, that a member of the Israelie squads, had brought to Israel the scrolls of the Book of Esther dating back two centuries, which were stored in the Synagogue of Antakya.
News and pictures of the smuggled historical manuscripts also appeared in the Israeli media, according to the “Khabarlar” website, that Haim Otmazgin, commander of ZAKA’s search and rescue team, alleged that an elderly citizen in Antakya assigned him the job.
He said that he has been a ZAKA volunteer for decades, and this was one of the most touching moments of his life and that he’s honored to be able to preserve such important historical document and ensure that the legacy of the Jewish community in Antakya remains intact, even after it was nearly destroyed by an earthquake.