Daily Israel Report

Rabbi: Int'l Monitors Must Watch Gush Katif Synagogues

At a ceremony marking four years since Gaza synagogues were abandoned, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef demands international monitoring to watch over them.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/28/2009, 10:23 AM

Israel national news: (file)

The Gush Katif Museum in Jerusalem commemorated the fourth anniversary on Thursday of the destruction of Gush Katif's synagogues on the 8th of Elul, 5765 (Sept. 12, 2005).
 
Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, son of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, visited the museum Thursday and determined that the synagogues of Gush Katif are still holy and Israel must demand that their sanctity be respected and safeguarded. The Israeli government must therefore demand international monitoring to watch over the Gaza synagogues as sites holy to Judaism, he said.

As long as Israel does not do this, he explained, it is committing an act of chillul HaShem (desecration of G-d's name). The synagogue, Rabbi Yosef reminded those gathered, is known in Jewish tradition as mikdash me'at – a smaller version of the Holy Temple.

The museum used the occasion to release a special report on the fate of synagogues of Gush Katif, which was accompanied by pictures taken by photographers who put themselves at risk in order to document the destruction. The research showed that most of the synagogues of Gush Katif have been desecrated in the years since the expulsion. Some were turned into poultry enclosures.

Among those who visited the museum for the occasion were Rabbi Elisha Vishlitzky, Rabbi Yehuda Zoldan, Rabbi Yitzchak Levy and Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, as well as Kfar Darom's rabbi, Rabbi Avi Schreiber.