Israeli President Isaac Herzog has added the final letters to the wartime Torah for Ukrainian Jews, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky launched in early 2022, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reports. The finished Torah scroll will be brought to Ukraine in the coming months and placed in one of the capital's synagogues.

A Torah scroll contains the entire text of the Five Books of Moses, hand-written in the original Hebrew. It is rolled up around two ornate wooden shafts, attached to either end of the scroll. Kept in an Ark or Chest in each synagogue, the Torah scroll is routinely read aloud during temple services, and in its presence, Jews offer prayers and blessings for all those in need.

The writing of this Torah, dedicated to peace in both countries, began in Ukraine shortly after the outbreak of a full-scale war in 2022 and was completed this week in Israel, which is also currently at war in Gaza.

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“When we began writing the Sefer Torah, we did not think we would reach a situation where our brothers, the people of Israel in the Holy Land, would also be under the threat of a cruel war,” Kyiv’s Chief Rabbi Yonatan Markowitz, who had helped initiate the Torah, said.

According to JTA, Jews serving in Ukraine's armed forces, members of the Jewish community in Kyiv, families of fallen Israeli soldiers, and relatives of Israelis kidnapped in Gaza, among others, were involved in the writing of the characters on the scroll on its way to completion.

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Ukrainian President Zelensky wrote the first letters of the Torah “in his office in the presidential bunker in Kyiv,” while Israeli President Herzog completed the final letters at a ceremony held in his official residence in Jerusalem.

“Both Jewish presidents wrote a letter in the Sefer Torah, dedicated for the sake of peace and achdut (unity) in Am Yisrael, which will be placed in Kyiv’s Great Synagogue JCC, Beit Menachem,”Rabbi Chabad said, referring to Zelensky and Herzog, who are currently the world’s only Jewish heads of state.

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According to the newspaper, the ceremony was attended by relatives of Zina Beilin, a 60-year-old Israeli woman of Ukrainian descent who was murdered by attacks by Hamas on Oct 7 in Sderot along with a dozen other elderly people during a bus tour to the Dead Sea which she had organized. The images of the pensioners’ bodies were some of the first that showed the bloody events of that day.

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Comments (2)

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Barruntaranchos
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I don´t understand how Zelensky wants to have any relationship with Israel and Jewish community. Putin has called him and his supporters nazis from the beginning of the war, and Israel looks to the other side. Israel has state of the art weapons and has sent NOTHING to support Ukraine, while its main enemy, Iran, sends drones and missiles to Putin. To add insult to injury, the genocide in Gaza by Netanyahu is the best support Putin could find, diverting weapons from US to Israel and making easier for Trump to win, and so forcing Ukraine to accept total surrender to Putin. If I were Zelensky, I would convert from Jew to Ukranian Ortodox right now.

rhoneyman
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@Barruntaranchos, You've just clearly identified yourself as an antisemite. "I'm not against Jews, I'm against Israel."

So much for that myth.

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André Kapsas
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Russian occupation bad, Israeli occupation good. Russia's genocidal crimes bad, Israeli genocidal crimes good. Make it make sense.

Ben
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@André Kapsas, it doesn't make sense no war ever will. All aggressive actions towards innocent people should stop immediately INCLUDING Putin's scummy and pointless bloody war!

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John
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I'm a daily active supporter of Ukraine for over 2 years. and as Ben says above, certainly wish putin's scummy / bloody war against them would stop. In my mind it remains putin's most pivotal attack against democracy.

I can see why russia / iran helped foment the Hamas terrorist attack. It has provided the distraction he needs. All the western media want to talk about these days as far as international matters go, seems to be the Israeli / Hamas war. Some allied funding has similarly been diverted there even if for the now needed humanitarian aid there.

I gotta say though that Netanyahu's over the top, tenacious, rabid response, which has now intentionally murdered thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians, can fittingly be called genocide. Against all former Israeli allies wishes, he even seemingly plots their starvation by cutting off their humanitarian aid and exit options. I've signed bunches of petitions to stop this and make humanitarian donations. Even when this ends, the Palestinians have nothing to return home to. The destruction of their civilian infrastructure is complete. It's obvious Netanyahu does not care. For Israel that criminal's re-election is as disastrous as would be a putinrump re-election.

Making one bad leadership choice can cost a nations international standing greatly (Putin, Khamenei, Al-Assad, Netanyahu, putinrump,.....etc)

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