Representative from bereaved families took part in a ceremony to celebrate the start of a new Torah scroll yesterday (Monday). The unique Torah will be written by police and Border Police officers.
Over the next few months, it will be passed between various police districts as officers take turns writing in the memory of their comrades who fell in the line of duty. The first letters were written by members of the bereaved families, including the father of Corporal Hadar Cohen, who was murdered during a terror attack at the Damascus Gate.
Israeli Chief Rabbi David Lau told the audience, "When a Jew sees a Torah scroll, his soul feels a part of its essence. It’s an honor felt by the Jewish people, and when there’s a Torah scroll written in honor of our fallen heroes in the police, Border Police, and security forces, it distinguishes the lives of officers standing watch across the country, and it is worthy for this scroll to be written. Let this Torah scroll lead us to happier days."
The acting police rabbi, Chief Superintendent Rabbi Moshe Gafni, who initiated the project, spoke about the connection between bereaved families and the police that contributes to the connection between those who lost their lives in protecting their homeland and those who still live. "This Torah will stand at the forefront of police actions in all their tasks to defend the people and the homeland," he declared.
Photo credit: Police spokesman
Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich praised the connection between the past and the future, including those who prepare the way and paid with their lives, and those who use their bodies to protect daily life in the country.
"Today we are writing the same words, the same letters, that express the same values of our forefathers thousands of years ago. We are writing on parchment with the same technical form of writing with which Torah scrolls were written for thousands of years. Nothing expresses eternity better than a Torah scroll, and when we come for a commemoration, the choice of a Torah scroll is most natural.
"If a single letter is missing in a Torah scroll, the whole Torah is invalid for reading," Alsheich continued. "Our role is to ensure that our unity is not lacking even in a single letter. Connecting two letters to each other also invalidates a Torah scroll. Connected letters means that one letter does not take the place of another, and without space for one another there is no chance of maintaining our unity."