3 Synagogues Vandalized, Torah Scrolls Desecrated


Three synagogues were broken into and vandalized at the end of last week, their Torah scrolls pulled out and cast onto the floor in scenes that horrified congregants and police alike.

A volunteer arrived Friday at a beis knesses in Ezer, located near the coast between Ashdod and Ashkelon, where he came upon the heartbreaking scene: vandals had broken the door of the aron kodesh off its hinges and torn Torah scrolls which were found thrown on the floor.

Other sacred items were also damaged and strewn about. A similar attack was made on an adjacent synagogue, where Torah scrolls and objects were likewise damaged and discarded.

At the military base in Sirkin, in the central region, soldiers found copies of Tanach torn and lying on the floor of their synagogue. The vandals left anti-Jewish graffiti as well.

A Torah scroll which had been donated to the base a year ago by Young Israel of America was saved undamaged and transferred to the commanding officer’s quarters for safekeeping until an investigation could be completed. Young Israel adopted the base several years ago, and when they learned that it was lacking a Torah scroll, $50,000 was given for the restoration of an old Torah scroll which had been rescued in Romania after the Holocaust. The ark had been locked at the time of the vandals’ entry.

Kiryat Malachi police district commander Sami Martziano promised a full investigation to track down the perpetrators in the first two incidents.

Meanwhile, Deputy Religions Minister, Eliyahu Ben Dahan (Jewish Home), sharply criticized the government for its failure to condemn the incidents

“A criminal act and a loud silence,” Ben Dahan said, and contrasted the silence of the prime minister and president, who were quick to condemn the recent desecration of a mosque.