In an extraordinarily moving celebration last night, my father (Rabbi Zelig Rivkin) and brother (Rabbi Mendel) drove to Baton Rouge from Houston to personally receive five Torah scrolls that were rescued from the Chabad House. I talked to them while they were in Lafayette, at the home of Dr. Aviner. (Dr. Aviner has been a guest in our community for Shabbats and Holidays, and he is relishing the oppportunity to repay the community for their past hospitality.)
The rescue teams returned from New Orleans last night, bringing out five people. They had two, and then got a call from another rescue team to pick up three more people.
They brought them to medical center, and then joined the rest of the team for a moving ceremony in which they handed over the Torahs.
One of the lead Chabad rescuers, a non-Jewish guy, retrieved the Torahs under significant personal risk on Tuesday and refused to allow them to leave his eyes until he received faxed authorization from Rabbi Sharfstein at Lubavitch World Headqurters that he may do so. The love and respect this man demonstrated boggles the mind. Everyone expressed effusive appreciation to him for all of his efforts across the board. My father was very emotional as he put the Torahs into his car, bringing them to Houston, where they will be used this Shabbos, at services attended by some of the members of our community