Ever since October 7th, the police station in Sderot has been identified solely with the horrible tragedy that occurred there.  But now a powerful work of art waits for whoever visits.  Elyasaf Miara, the one who created the painting pictured below, explained it to me as follows:

“The entire police station was destroyed. Everything was full of bullet holes but one wall remained. I was given the opportunity to tell the story of what happened on this wall.

I began with a painting of the destroyed structure and opposite it a tank. We see here the stark contrast of a battlefield tank entering a tranquil city.

But the main subject is the open Torah scroll that represents the festival of Simchat Torah. 8 police officers fell in the police station as well as 2 fighters who came to help. 10 souls. A minyan. I wanted to make 10 holes in the Torah scroll, but then I saw 10 real bullet holes in the wall and painted the Torah scroll around them.

It was difficult for me to paint a shot-up Torah scroll, with bullet holes, but this is, in a sense, what happened and I had to convey it in the painting. Everything happened on a day when the Torah is joyful and we are joyful too, and this joyousness is what the enemy wanted to attack.

Above the Torah scroll, Hebrew letters are floating in the air. I actually wept when I painted the letters of the aleph-bet (Hebrew alphabet) from which all the names of the fallen and of the entire nation can be written. Our sages say that it’s possible to burn a Torah scroll, but the letters that constitute the Torah along with the nation’s spirit, strength, and determination can never be destroyed — and neither can we. This is the consolation that I have attempted to bring to our people.”