More than seven years after a Palestinian suicide bombing attack transformed it into a scene of unspeakable horror, Netanya's Park Hotel will host a special event aimed at giving renewed hope to victims of terror.
Thirty-five Israeli families who have lost loved ones to terrorism will take part in a special Torah scroll dedication ceremony on Tuesday evening at the hotel, where 30 Israelis were killed and 140 others were injured on March 27, 2002, while celebrating the Seder.
The ceremony, which will include a procession through the streets of Netanya, is being organized by Navah, an organization that assists terror victims and their families. Former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau and Netanya Mayor Miriam Fierberg-Ikar will be in attendance.
"Dedicating a Sefer Torah is the holiest way to keep the memories of the victims alive," Coreen Ben-Aroya, whose husband Shimon died in the attack, told The Jerusalem Post. "It will honor those who died so that they will never be forgotten."
Ben-Aroya was badly injured in the bombing, as was her daughter, who remains paralyzed on one side of her body.
"This event is part of Navah's ongoing efforts to give strength and hope to the victims of terror, which they desperately need to continue their lives despite suffering such painful losses," organization spokesman Josh Hasten said.
Also to take part is Nachman Kleiman, whose teenage daughter was shot to death on a bus in March 2002 by Palestinian terrorists while on her way to serve as a counselor for emotionally-challenged children.
"The writing of a Torah scroll and its presentation at the scene of tremendous human loss and suffering promises continuity," he said. "It shows that our people go on."
Participants will dance and sing while holding the scroll aloft, as they make their way through the thoroughfares of the seaside city and accompany it to its new home. The Torah is being donated by New York philanthropists Ingeborg and Ira Rennert for use in the hotel synagogue.
"We will commemorate the victims by dedicating a Torah for use by the current generation and, God-willing, for future generations," Kleiman told the Post.
"In short, they - the terrorists - lose, and we win."