More than 800 school children from the Gaza Envelope and donors from North America gathered at Masada’s ancient ruins.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
As part of JNF’s Be Inscribed program, more than 800 school children from the Gaza Envelope, as well as dozens of donors from North America gathered at Masada’s ancient ruins. In a powerful and moving ceremony, the final letters were added to a freshly written sefer torah (Torah scroll), which will be donated to Kibbutz Kerem Shalom. This Torah stands as a symbol of JNF’s ongoing commitment to the communities of the Gaza Envelope and its determination to create a brighter future for all of the citizens who live there. People from around the world can sponsor an inscription in these torah scrolls and be part of this ongoing chapter of Jewish tradition.
In stark contrast to Masada’s heroic but dark history, the ‘Be Inscribed’ event was teeming with life, as several speakers, including JNF President Sol Lizerbram, Mayor of the Eshkol Regional Council Gadi Yarkoni, Mayor of the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, Ofir Libstein, and Deputy Mayor of Sderot, Elad Kalimi.
In particular, Yarkoni, who is not religious, maintained that the ceremony was an “extremely moving one” and that the donation of the Torah scroll was “not just symbolic.” And he interpreted a particularly strong message from it, essentially that while Masada is a representation of extremities, a group of people willing to great lengths to hold onto their beliefs, the communities of the Gaza Envelope “strive to live and to flourish.”
As the final letter was added to the sacred parchment, the band began to bang their drums and play their clarinets - and the sun’s rays broke through an otherwise overcast day. It heralded the start of the group’s descent from the barren mountaintop - with shofarot (rams horns) and a chuppah (wedding canopy) being the accompaniment and cover, respectively, for the Torah scroll - it was akin to a wedding ceremony.
All that was left was for Lizerbram to say a final few words, “Hinenu (we are here),” he began. “Two thousand years after the Romans tried to destroy us, our country and way of life, we are still here and we always will be.”
To learn more about the Be Inscribed Program or to take part, check out their website at beinscribed.org/
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