Deputy Religions Minister, Rabbi Eliyahu Ben Dahan (Bayit Yehudi), reacted Sunday to the desecration of two synagogues in the community of Ezer, in the Lachish region in southern Israel.
"A criminal act and a loud silence,” was the heading Ben Dahan gave his post on Facebook. “This Thursday, on the holiday of Tu Bishvat, I will visit Lachish. On the same day on which I will mark the planting of seedlings and renewal, and enjoy the beauty of G-d's creation along with the entire nation of Israel, I am also scheduled to visit the synagoue that was vandalized on Friday.”
Ben Dahan added that he does not believe that Jews are capable of vandalizing a synagogue, or items that are sacred to the Jewish nation.
He also hinted strongly at hypocrisy on the part of personages like the president, the prime minister and the chief rabbis, who were very quick to react vehemently when a mosque was thought to have been desecrated by Jews – even though it turned out afterward that the vandalism was probably carried out by Muslim Arabs.
"I am equally sorry,” said Ben Dahan, “that again, we do not hear the president, the prime minister or the chief rabbis raising a hue and cry when synagogues are defiled.”
"And perhaps, the loud silence that is heard whenever a synagogue is desecrated in central Israel, in Lachish and elsewhere, is because we must once again make the name of Judaism great,” he speculated. “Join me in the demand to put the guilty people on trial and in a clear statement – this time, we will not pass in silence over a criminal act like the desecration of a synagogue.”
A volunteer arrived Friday at a synagogue in Ezer, located near the coast between Ashdod and Ashkelon, to find the house of worship broken into. Vandals had broken the Torah ark door off its hinges and torn Torah scrolls which were found thrown on the floor.
The vandals also damaged other holy items, leaving them scattered on the floor as well. Similar vandalism was found in an adjacent synagogue, where Torah scrolls and objects were likewise damaged and discarded.