Ancient Sefer Torah Dedicated to Shul in Rome in Memory of Fallen Soldiers

By Hamodia Staff

Ever since the hachnasas sefer Torah to commemorate 40 years since the assassination, and in memory, of Michael Stefano Gai Tashi, Hy”d, who was murdered by terrorists who threw hand grenades at mispallelim leaving the shul, wounding 37, the Jewish community of Rome has not seen such an emotional event.

On Motzoei Purim, the community held a ceremony to bring in a new sefer Torah in memory of the soldiers who fell in the wars in Israel, Hy”d. The ancient sefer Torah, which is about 250 years old and was repaired by the Jewish community of Rome, was brought in with great joy and sorrowful solemnity to the central synagogue in an event filled with mixed emotions, after it was decided to dedicate the sefer Torah in memory of the fallen soldiers, especially those who fell during the current war.

The sefer Torah, belonging to the Jewish community, and whose timeworn letters bore its marks, was prepared for use by local sofer Rabbi David Sasa. At the ceremony to bring in the sefer Torah to the magnificent shul, five bereaved families from the Ohr L’Mishpachot organization participated. They came to Rome specifically to take part in the emotional event.

“Our community receives a delegation of bereaved families every Purim and strives to express comfort, share in sorrow, and bear the burden together,” said Rabbi Samuel Di Segni, deputy president of the Conference of European Rabbis, in his speech. The community president, Victor Pedalon, also delivered a special address.

The final letters of the sefer Torah were written in an emotional ceremony in the courtyard of the Jewish school by the families, led by Rabbi Di Segni, Chief Rabbi of Rome, and community leaders.

From there, the ancient sefer Torah was carried by a large crowd to the local shul. The procession, accompanied by singing and dancing through the streets of the Jewish neighborhood, was led by community members holding other ancient sifrei Torah.

The main shul building in Rome, which is over 120 old, is one of the most magnificent shuls in the world. The building, decorated also on the outside, was built in a very special style on the banks of the Tiber River and stands out accordingly from a distance. Its square dome is unique in Rome and is visible from all parts of the city.

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