‘In the past they slaughtered us, now we strike our enemies’
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took part on Thursday in a unique ceremony, writing in the last letters of a new Torah scroll dedicated in memory of fallen Israeli soldiers.
The event was a continuation of a ceremony last August at the Kotel (Western Wall) Plaza, in which 73 Torah scrolls were dedicated to the soldiers who fell fighting in the Jewish state’s wars. The scrolls were brought to synagogues in various cities throughout the country.
On Thursday representatives from the IDF unit commemorating soldiers, as well as representatives from the Yad LeBanim association for the families of fallen soldiers, brought one of the Torah scrolls to Netanyahu, so that he could write the last letters and complete the scroll.
“I am happy to be with you here, I am very moved,” said the prime minister. “This sealing of this Torah scroll for us expresses the sanctity of life, the great pain that we feel over the loss of our sons and daughters.”
Netanyahu added, “but that is the price of our lives, and that is the great difference in the generations of our people. Before we established the state, we were as leaves scattered in the wind, they slaughtered us and killed us ruthlessly; and today, we can strike our enemies and press back their intentions to destroy.”
“Unfortunately, that is dependent on a very heavy price, very heavy. You are familiar with it.” Addressing Miriam Peretz, whose two sons died on the battlefield, he continued, “you are familiar with it Miriam, I’m familiar with it, the parents are familiar with it.”
“It is an awful price, but that is the price of life. I think that only those who are part of this family (of those who lost loved ones in war – ed.) really understand the strength of the pain, but also the power of life.”
Netanyahu’s comments regarding the state’s ability to defend Jews come even as his coalition government has been widely criticized for not taking sufficient steps in cracking down on the ongoing Arab terror wave, which has seen dozens of Jews murdered in recent months.
Yad LeBanim chairperson Eli Ben-Shem also took part in the ceremony, as did IDF Chief Rabbi Brig. Gen. Rabbi Rafi Peretz, representatives of the bereaved families, and the donator Laurent Amram, who gave the Torah scrolls in memory of the fallen soldiers.