New Torah Began at IDF Base Near the Gaza Strip

A spiritual shield of steel: Brigadier General Itzik Cohen of Division 162 and the commanders wrote letters in the Sefer Torah of Beit Chabad Menorah led by Rabbi Alex Prochensky.

Initiating the writing of a Torah scroll at a military base is not an everyday occurrence. It becomes even more extraordinary when it takes place at a base near the Gaza Strip amidst intense combat, with missiles soaring overhead. Today, the soldiers of Division 162, the Nahal Brigade, and the Steel Strength Commando Brigade had the unique privilege of partaking in such a unifying event, fostering a deep sense of unity and camaraderie among them.

The event was organized by the volunteers of Kfar Chabad – Ezer LaChayal, headed by Rabbi Eliyahu Gutman, together with the Chabad House for Russian speakers in Rishon Lezion, directed by Rabbi Alex Prochensky, thanks to the esteemed donation of his friend Rabbi Israel Khodorkovsky. The Torah scroll was donated to Beit Chabad Menorah, led by Rabbi Prochensky, and its uniqueness is that the security forces participate in it. It will be a particular scroll for the protection of IDF soldiers in the activities of the Chabad house.

The Torah’s writing began with Brigadier General Itzik Cohen, the commander of the steel formation. He desired to pen a letter to honor his subordinates, who bravely risked their lives in the combat in Gaza. The event in the base’s square was marked by jubilant Hasidic music and a lavish meat dinner, a token of deep respect and honor for the hundreds of fighters and commanders.

Alongside distinguished guests such as Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm, Rabbi of Zhytomyr and Western Ukraine and Rabbi Schneerson, Rabbi of Rubna Ukraine, the guest of honor at the event was the Rabbi of Safed Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu שליט״א, who traveled all the way from the far north to the base near the Gaza Strip, to make the soldiers happy and give them Birkat HaDerech before entering enemy territory.

In his address, Rabbi Eliyahu underscored the significance of writing the Torah scroll on the chag hageulah of Yud Tes-Chof Kislev. He believed this would provide additional spiritual and physical protection to the valiant soldiers who selflessly put their lives on the line until the enemy was defeated, per the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s directive to write a letter for each soldier. Writing the Torah scroll instills a sense of spiritual protection and safety among the soldiers.

In the writing of the Torah led by Sofer Stam Rabbi Menachem Fleishman, many took part: Rabbi and the commander of division 162, brigadier generals, colonels, lieutenant colonels, attorney Mordechai Tsivin, Menashe Althuiz and Roni Moral, people of kindness who do a lot for our dear soldiers.

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