Netanyahu Inscribes First Letters in Tokyo Torah Scroll

At request of local Chabad, PM writes part of the word 'Beresheet,' or Genesis.

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Screenshot from Chabad website of Netanyahu inscribing Torah scroll in Tokyo as local Chabad officials look on, May 13, 2014.

During his visit this week to Tokyo, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inscribed the first letters of a new Torah scroll being written for the city's 2,000-member Jewish community, reported.

Netanyahu was approached by local Chabad officials, and he wrote the letter bet, the first letter in Beresheet (Genesis). As Chabad officials noted that bet is also the first letter of Binyamin (Benjamin), Netanyahu also inscribed the shin in Beresheet, which is also the first letter in Sara, his wife's name.

For good measure, Rabbi Mendi Sudakevich, co-director with his wife Chana of the Chabad House in Tokyo, told the prime minister: Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai explains that the Torah begins with the letter bet because it represents bracha [blessing].