TEL AVIV – A new Torah scroll written in honor of the 72 IDF soldiers who were killed during Operation Protective Edge was dedicated in Tel Aviv on Sunday night.
The Torah was donated to the North Central Synagogue which recently hired a new rabbinic leader, Rabbi Shlomo Chayen. Around 300 people accompanied the Torah amid dancing, singing and musical instruments in a parade between the North Central Synagogue and another synagogue in central Tel Aviv.
The dedication was attended by former chief rabbi of Israel and chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, who commented on the bravery of the young soldiers who sacrificed their lives during last summer’s war with Hamas.
He cited a passage in Deuteronomy in which Moses predicts troubled times for the nation of Israel, but noted that even during turbulent times, Israel’s singing bears witness that the Torah will never be forgotten.
“The Torah is eternal and the one who gave us it is eternal,” said Rabbi Lau.
The dedication was organized by the Am Yisrael Foundation, a grassroots Zionist non-profit that promotes modern pioneering among Jewish young adults.
The organization’s president Jay Shultz said:
“What more beautiful way could there be to celebrate the spirit of the Jewish People than with the writing of a new Torah scroll. Just as King David brought the ark of God into Jerusalem with joy, tonight we danced through the streets of holy Tel Aviv in honor of the soldiers we lost to war last year. May their ultimate sacrifice inspire us all toward living a more meaningful life.”
Former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren, who also attended the ceremony, noted that the current atmosphere of violence targeting Jews all over Israel and the world at large would not diminish the Jewish people’s strength. “It is vibrant communities like the one the Am Yisrael Foundation is building in Tel Aviv that ensures the Jewish People will never collapse under threat of violence and hatred,” said Oren.
The Torah scroll’s cloth shroud was embroidered with the Hebrew names of the fallen soldiers.