Sydney rabbi tears into synagogue vandals on Facebook

(JTA) – A rabbi in Sydney, Australia whose synagogue was spray-painted with swastikas excoriated the vandals on Facebook.

“You were damn lucky that I wasn’t there to catch you,” Rabbi Yossi Friedman wrote Monday in a post that began with the words “I am furious.”

His Maroubra Synagogue was vandalized over the weekend with several swastikas. The Nazi symbol also was drawn several times on a nearby bus station.

Friedman, a brother-in-law of celebrity Rabbi Shmuley Boteach of New Jersey, also wrote: “What would drive a person to such deplorable action? Why such hatred?”

The rabbi called the vandalism “an assault against the Jewish People.”

“A Synagogue is a symbol of peace. It’s where we support each other during times of crises and celebrate together in times of festivity. Its purpose: To inspire anyone who enters its doors into becoming a better person. So why would anyone want to deface it?” he added.

The rabbi later wrote in conclusion: “I have one message to impart to that vandal who desecrated my Synagogue and insulted my people: I pity you. Your hatred is self-destructive, it will only consume YOU. So for your own sake, let it go.”

Boteach is scheduled to speak at the synagogue next month.


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