Police suspect arson in a fire Monday night at a synagogue on Nordau Street in Netanya.
According to an initial investigation, someone broke into the house of prayer and stole money that had been gathered for charity. The thief then poured a flammable substance in the room and set it on fire in an apparent attempt to cover his or her tracks.
Ten Torah scrolls were destroyed or heavily damaged in the blaze. Dozens of other holy books were burnt as well.
A synagogue worker who witnessed the fire and the burnt Torah scrolls felt poorly and nearly fainted at the scene. Paramedics treated him at the scene, and then took him to Laniado Hospital for further care.
Torah scrolls that are damaged beyond repair are traditionally given a mourning procession and burial ceremony similar to that for deceased people.