A Tel Aviv synagogue headed by a liberal Zionist Orthodox rabbi was hit with what appears to be an anti-Orthodox hate crime directly linked to the proposed Jewish State Bill that many legal experts, including Israel’s own attorney general, believe to be undemocratic and dangerous.
Above: Burned secular books in the synagogue 11-30-2014
Tel Aviv Orthodox Synagogue Hit With Apparent Hate Crime
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A Tel Aviv synagogue headed by a liberal Zionist Orthodox rabbi was reportedly hit with what appears to be an anti-Orthodox hate crime directly linked to the proposed Jewish State Bill that many legal experts, including Israel’s own attorney general, believe to be undemocratic and dangerous. The bill is strongly backed by right-wing politicians and by the right-wing Zionist Orthodox HaBayit HaYehudi Party.
A wall of the Tel Aviv International Synagogue was vandalized today with graffiti reportedly reading, “In a place where the Jewish State Bill will be legislated, books will be burned.” Next to that wall a pile burned books were found, but reportedly none of them were prayerbooks or other sacred texts.
The synagogue is headed by Rabbi Ariel Konstantyn. Konstantyn is a member of the liberal Zionist Orthodox Tzohar rabbinic organization and is originally from New York. He called the attack a “clear act of anti-Semitism” that seems to indicate an anti-Orthodox hate crime perpetrated by radical left-wing activists.
“It is ironic and shocking that they targeted a synagogue where every perspective is respected and welcomed and where Jews are taught to love each other regardless of their political views,” Konstantyn told Arutz Sheva.
Tzohar’s head, Rabbi David Stav, reportedly went even further.
“Rather than promote a healthy dialogue with other Jews who think differently, these individuals are resorting to the tactics of terrorists. We are all entitled to have differing viewpoints on the challenges facing our society but anyone who resorts to violence of this nature – and in particular who targets a holy sanctuary – deserves to be condemned in every manner possible,” Stav reportedly said.
Tzohar’s executive vice president, Rabbi Nachman Rosenberg linked the attack to anti-Semitic attacks that took place before the founding of Israel in Europe and parts of the Arab world.
“As an organization dedicated to guaranteeing the Jewish future of Israel, we understand and appreciate the differing viewpoints on the Jewish State Bill. This manner of disgraceful behavior is yet another alarming indicator of the need to remind us of who we are and what this country was founded for,” Rosenberg.
Tzohar attempts to bridge the gap between the majority of Israelis who are secular and Israel’s Orthodox and haredi minority, which controls all major lifecycle events for all Jews in the country regardless of their level of religious observance or disobservance. But it does so while supporting an Orthodox Jewish understanding of the state and its founding.
Police are investigating the incident.