Torah Scrolls Removed from Shul Facing Destruction

Congregants weep at synagogue north of Jerusalem, after state files appeal to High Court against demolition.

Eliran Aharon,

Torah scrolls removed from synagogue
Torah scrolls removed from synagogue
Eliran Aharon


Congregants at the Ayelet Hashahar synagogue in Givat Ze'ev north of Jerusalem held a ceremony Monday in which they removed the Torah scrolls from the Ark in the synagogue, following a decision to empty the synagogue after the High Court gave orders to raze it. 

Civil Administration forces on Sunday night began to take apart the synagogue.

The High Court earlier on Sunday postponed the demolition of the synagogue until August 17, following the intervention of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. 

The synagogue, which has been in use for over 20 years, was slated to be demolished after a far-left group filed a petition with the Court, claiming that the structure had been build on privately-owned Palestinian Arab land.

The petition had been working its way through the courts for at least three years. Members of the congregation have offered the land's alleged owners a high price for the purchase or rental of the land, but they, and their lawyers, have insisted that the synagogue be torn down. It is not clear why the Palestinian claimants waited some two decades to make their claims, the congregants said.

The heads of the congregation are in possession of documents showing that they bought the land from its owners, which is the reason that the court has not yet finalized its decision, their attorneys said. The congregation's attorneys are hoping to make one final appeal to prevent the demolition. 


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