“Now write down this song and teach it to the Israelites and have them sing it.” (Deuteronomy 31:19)
Each one of the 75 Israelis killed in Operation Protective Edge will have a Torah scroll written in their memory, thanks to a program called “A Bond for Eternity” or Kesher LaNetzah. These Torah scrolls will be donated to communities and military bases across Israel under the auspices of the LIBI Fund, the social welfare unit of the IDF.
The mission is to dedicate a Sefer Torah to all of the 67 IDF victims and five civilian victims of last summer’s war, as well as the three teenage boys kidnapped and murdered by Hamas in June 2014, so as to perpetuate their name.
To this end, Kesher Lanetzah has called on people from all around the world to join them in commissioning the 75 Torah scrolls which will be dedicated to perpetuating their memories.
During the program’s inaugural event back in 2014, a scribe wrote down the first letters of the first Torah scroll dedicated in the name of IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, may his memory be blessed, who fell in combat during Operation Protective Edge. His body was abducted by Hamas terrorists inside one of the terror tunnels and has been held for ransom ever since.
The writing of a Torah scroll is one of the holiest and costliest commandments, as each letter needs to be carefully prepared by a professional scribe.The cost varies based upon on the clarity, beauty and consistency of the script as well as the weight of the parchment. Writing a Torah can costs upwards of $36,000 and takes about one year to complete.
In the Jewish tradition, dedicating a Torah scroll is one of the most sacred ways of memorializing a person, family, or community. Recently such an undertaking was completed in honor of the terror victims in Paris, in which the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, took part himself.
The inauguration of a new Torah scroll is likened to a Jewish wedding, as it commemorates the ever-lasting relationship and unbreakable bond between God and the nation of Israel. Similarly, the celebration of the holiday of Shavuot (Pentecost) also commemorates this relationship and the first giving of the Torah from God to Moses on Mt. Sinai.
It is for this reason, among others, that Jews all over the world decorate their synagogues with plants and flowers on the holiday of Shavuot, much as a bridal canopy (Chuppah) is decorated with flowers.
The giving of the Torah is a central theme in Judaism, whether it is by teaching, learning, or especially dedicating a new scroll. These actions further the lasting relationship and strengthen the bond between God and His people.
The scrolls are destined to synagogues, both military and civilian, in Israel affiliated with communities and organizations that have expressed a need for them. Under the sponsorship of the LIBI Fund and American Friends of LIBI, Kesher Lanetzah is dedicating one scroll to each of the eight IDF brigades who were involved in Operation Protective Edge.
Kesher Lanetzah’s spiritual answer to the pain felt by the loss of these individuals ensures that their memories will not be forgotten. By dedicating these 75 news Torah scrolls, and thus strengthening the ever-lasting and eternal bond between God and his people, the memories of the fallen will also live on forever.