Right before the start of Shavuot, on May 14, Israel’s chief rabbis, the British ambassador to Israel, airline employees and others took part in an event to mark the completion of the writing of the El Al Torah Scroll for the Unity of Israel.
El Al CEO Elyezer Shkedy, who initiated the writing of the Torah Scroll, said the project was motivated by a desire to help strengthen ties between the Jewish population in Israel and around the world.
Shkedy told a group of journalists about this Torah during the American Jewish Press Association’s press tour in January and I was fortunate enough to “write” a letter in this Torah (through a scribe, of course) during an El Al-sponsored dinner at a Tel Aviv restaurant. I feel like I was in very good company, as thousands of people have inscribed a letter in the Torah Scroll for the past three years — including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s President Shimon Peres and Noble Prize winner Eli Weisel. In Washington, D.C., this past December, the sefer Torah was signed by several U.S. senators and members of Congress, including Joe Lieberman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Eric Cantor. At the United Nations, Israel’s Ambassador Ron Prosor added a letter to the Torah.
The Torah scroll, which contains 304,805 letters in 249 columns, will be kept in the synagogue on the El Al campus at Ben Gurion International Airport, according to a press release, and will accompany Israeli leaders on flights of national and historic significance.