Heirs of Brooklyn man sue Florida couple for $60 million for ‘ancient’ Bible

The heirs of a Brooklyn man who bequeathed to them an “ancient” Bible, have filed a $60 million lawsuit against a Florida couple who allegedly found the priceless heirloom in a suitcase and are refusing to return it.

A federal judge with the wisdom of Solomon will have to determine the rightful owners of the lost “Five Books of Moses.”

The saga is sketched out in a suit filed Monday in Brooklyn Federal Court by the children and grandchildren of the Bible’s owner, David Arakie, who died in 1972. They are suing Sam and Aviva Greenberg of Boca Raton. The couple allegedly took possession of the Bible after Aviva claims to have found it in a suitcase belonging to her late father Zalmen Gurewicz, according to court papers.

Arakie allegedly loaned the Bible to Gurewicz in 1960 “for the purpose of academic study,” the suit contends.

“The Bible is unique because it is one of the oldest known full sets of a Hebrew language bible and is in almost perfect condition…(and) is an important resource for biblical scholars,” the suit says.

Gurewicz was supposed to return the Bible to the heirs, but apparently did not. The plaintiffs contacted the Greenbergs last year and were promised it back. But in January a representative of the couple “hinted that they loaned or perhaps donated the Bible to a religious institution in memory of Gurewicz,” the suit says.

Lawyer Evan Newman said he could not comment on the suit without the permission of his clients. The Greenbergs could not be reached.

The suit seeks return of the Bible under the legal doctrine of conversion in which the defendants are accused of misappropriating and converting the heirloom for themselves.


Heirs of Brooklyn man sue Florida couple for $60 million for ‘ancient’ Bible
The children and grandchildren of David Arakie filed the Brooklyn Federal Court suit against Sam and Aviva Greenberg of Boca Raton because they allegedly failed to return the “Five Books of Moses.”
John Marzulli
July 22, 2014
New York Daily News