El Al Torah Scroll Read in Synagogue for the First Time
The unique El Al Torah scroll, written over a period of three years by thousands of people worldwide, including many dignitaries, was used for the first time in El Al's synagogue Thursday.
The Torah scroll was read in the “shacharit” morning prayer in the Tiferet Tzion synagogue in El Al's main offices near ben Gurion Airport.
El Al CEO Maj. Gen. (res.) Elizer Shkedy was one of the privileged participants in the prayer who got to say the Torah reading blessing during the event. He recited the third blessing – after the first two were carried out by a cohen and a levi (levite) from the congregation, as tradition warrants. Shkedy had also carried the Torah scroll from the Ark to the pulpit.
Shkedy, who initiated the writing of the Torah scroll, said that the project was motivated by a desire to help strengthen ties within the Jewish nation in Israel and worldwide.
The Torah scroll was written over a period of three years during which the 304,805 letters that make up the 5,845 sentences in the Torah were written by the President of Israel, the Prime Minister, the heads of the security services led by the Chief of Staff, and spiritual leaders: the Chief Rabbis, rabbinical leaders, Torah scholars and yeshiva heads in Israel and worldwide, heads of Jewish organizations around the world, Israeli and other Jewish Nobel Prize winners, top athletes, including members of Israel’s Olympic team, artists, El Al employees and thousands of members of the Matmid Frequent Flyer Club and other El Al customers.
The writing of letters took place at sites related to the history of Israel, the nation and the State: on the walls of the Old City, in the Western Wall tunnels, in the presence of the paratroopers who liberated the Western Wall; on the desk of the Israeli delegation in the General Assembly of the UN; in the American Senate on Capitol Hill in the presence of senior senators and members of Congress; in Toulouse, where pupils from the Otzar HaTorah School were murdered; on the Great Wall of China, with the participation of the Israel Ambassador and members of the local community; in the Wansee Villa in Berlin where the order was given to destroy the Jewish nation; at the gates of the Auschwitz death camp in Poland and in Moscow at an event attended by 1,000 local Jewish children.
The Torah Scroll will be carried on El Al flights of national significance.
Photos by Sivan Faraj.