Senior police officials quietly made their way at dawn last week to the top of the wind-swept Herodian mountain fortress of Masada, where a graduation ceremony was enhanced by another, more ancient practice -- that of inscribing a letter in the Torah.
After a graduation ceremony of chief officers, they were greeted by the Chabad-Lubavitch emissary of the Dead Sea, Rabbi Shimon Elharar – who led them to a special privilege.
“They came to me, Police Commissioner Yochanan Danino and the other top officers,” related Rabbi Elharar, “and together we entered the chamber where a new Torah scroll is being written in the ancient synagogue.”
Elharar explained to the officers why it was decided to write this particular Torah scroll atop Masada, an archaeological ruin 2,000 years old.
“This is the site of a tragedy,” Elharar told Arutz Sheva. “But here we are after 2,000 years, and this year we are writing in the very heart of the mountain, a Torah scroll -- the symbolic heart of the Jewish People.”
Danino was first to inscribe a letter in the Torah scroll, assisted by the Scribe of Masada, Rabbi Shai Abramovich. Then each senior staff officer followed, one after the other.
“In the Torah, it states that the police officers and judges within your gates shall see how important your work is; if men do not work, men eat each other alive!” Rabbi Elharar told Danino.
The rabbi blessed the officers with the hope that their work would be focused primarily in deterrence and prevention.