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Rabbinic Outrage Over Muslim Vandalism at Cave of Patriarchs

A leading rabbi in the government has expressed outrage over destruction of Jewish holy articles at the Cave of the Patriarchs by Muslims.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 7/14/2013, 12:07 PM

הרב בן דהן הבוקר
הרב בן דהן הבוקר
צילום: דוד וילדר

A leading rabbi in the government has expressed outrage over destruction of Jewish holy articles at the Cave of the Patriarchs by Muslims following their worship at the site on Friday.

Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, who serves as Deputy Religious Affairs Minister and Supervisor of Holy Sites, visited the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron after receiving reports of the vandalism.’‘

Jewish worshipers who arrived at the site after Muslim prayers on Friday were horrified to find widespread desecration of the holy tomb. Two mezuzahs – the cases containing Jewish holy scriptures affixed to the doorpost, and the scriptures contained therein – had been torn off and stone. A third was damaged.

The Muslim worshipers had also hurled mud and garbage around the site – Judaism’s second holiest, after the Temple Mount – where the Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah lie interred.

“This vandalism must be condemned by the heads of state,” Rabbi Ben Dahan told journalists. “Our forefathers are here, and the matriarchs! As a Jew, I call [on the public] to avoid silence and to protest this ‘price tag’.”

Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld posted a statement on the Twitter social networking site, saying “Police searching for suspects who stole two Mezuzas last night from the Cave of the Patriarchs.” He could not, however, be reached for comment on Sunday morning.

On Friday, Rosenfeld tweeted that more than 80,000 people took part in Ramadan prayers on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. “No incidents reported,” he wrote.