Torah scroll dedicated in name of fallen soldiers from Gaza conflict.
(photo credit: ALBERT GABBAI)
A new Torah scroll was dedicated in Sderot on the last night of Hanukka in the presence of bereaved families whose relatives died in the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge that was waged in Gaza this summer.
Sderot has for many years borne the brunt of rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip, but the city has been spared the daily rocket attacks it was accustomed to since the termination of the military operation at the end of August.
Sixty-six IDF soldiers were killed during the conflict, along with six civilians, while more than 500 soldiers and civilians were wounded.
The names of some of the fallen soldiers were inscribed on the handles of the Torah scroll, and some of the fathers of the bereaved families were invited to write a letter in the Sefer Torah on Tuesday evening, which was donated by the Lisha family from Sderot.
Rabbi Shmuel Moyal, who directed the event, assisted the fathers in writing the letters and gave them blessings for the sons they lost in the conflict.
“It is forbidden for us to forget for a moment the good that these soldiers who were fulfilling their duty have done, and the quiet and security they gave us,” said Moyal.
Some of the parents spoke at the event, with the father of Sgt.- Maj. (res.) Barak Refael Degorker who was killed by mortar fire, saying the “love and concern showed by people towards their family at such a hard time” had been overwhelming.
“I remember during the operation the unity of the Jewish people and I can still see it now,” he said.
The mother of St.-Sgt. Bnaya Rubel said that she had been deeply moved by the outpouring of sympathy for her and her family.
“People have told us that in the merit of these soldiers they can live here and carry on their lives and this makes our hearts, which have been crushed by pain, swell once again with pride,” she said.
After the candle-lighting ceremony, the families walked to the Ethiopian synagogue where the Torah scroll was dedicated.