Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb today expressed the pain of world Jewry suffered by the wholesale desecration of Gaza synagogues following Israel’s disengagement.
He criticized the refusal or inability of the Palestinian Authority to prevent the destruction of the synagogues, declaring, “The Palestinian Authority has demonstrated to the world its failure to govern in a manner similar to governing authorities around the globe by letting the wanton destruction go on.”
“As Jews, we can only cry out in pain as a riotous mob, filled with only hatred and a lack respect for the beliefs and sensitivities of others, desecrates buildings in which Jewish men, women and children once worshiped God with great devotion. These events only remind us of desecrations of synagogues down through the ages. Who could imagine that in the year 2005 such violations of decency and humanity would still be possible.”
“The life of the Jew revolves around the synagogue. It is within this sanctuary that Jews pray daily, where our life cycle events are held, and where the study of Jewish texts are explored, both day and night.
*The destruction of a synagogue is akin to a knife being thrust into our very being.* When synagogues are destroyed, with either the connivance or lack of action of a governing authority, we can only ask, what kind of government is this?”
“We trust that all peoples of good will also recoil in horror at such images.”
“This is why the Palestinian Authority has taken to blaming Israel for these evil acts, suggesting that Israel left the synagogues standing so as to embarrass the Palestinians. And so blaming the victim continues.
This, of course, is nonsense; the Palestinians have embarrassed themselves.
“We await the reaction of Muslim governments and religious leaders to these outrages. With heavy heart, however, we anticipate a long wait for wholesale condemnation.”
“Israel could not bear to demolish houses of worship because the destruction of even of a single sanctuary is intolerable and unfathomable. We pray for an era in which all people share that understanding, and in which our sanctuaries, and our heavy hearts, are restored to their former glory.”