Religion Magazine

Extremist Thugs in Bet Shemesh Destroy Shul

By Gldmeier @gldmeier

In what is perhaps one of the most insane things I have seen in a fairly long time, extremist thugs went berserk and destroyed a shul in Bet Shemesh.
If I leave it at that, you might be left with the impression that it was the shul hosting a womens minyan, or perhaps a shul of "amalekites" - aka dati leumi, or perhaps the shul of some egalitarian group.. but that would be wrong. They destroyed a haredi shul, hassidic shul specifically, in the haredi neighborhood of Nahala uMenucha (a.k.a. the kiryah haharedit).
According to Kikar, here is what happened...
The "Nitra" shul, formerly a Satmar shul, is a shul used only on Shabbos. For some unknown (to me) reason, this shul has been targeted by some local askanim as one that should be shut down.
According to the claims, the shul was being used during the week, unofficially of course, by bochurim who would sit there surfing the Internet on their iphones and other non-kosher cellphones. At some point, one of the askanim got the keys and decided he would make surprise visits to see what was going on and catch them in the act.
The other day, this askan went into the shul on one of his surprise visits and caught a group of bochurim using a laptop.
I find the rest of this irrelevant, because what exactly they were doing makes no difference in whether or not he was justified in vandalizing, actually destroying, the shul. But, to continue the story, they claimed the laptop had no internet access, and was actually the personal laptop of the Admor of Nitra - they claim to be doign work for the admor, organizing his divrei torah.
The askan reportedly went berserk when he saw them on the laptop. When they showed him what they were doing, he screamed at them that they are ruining the neighborhood and all the tragedies that happen are because of them. He then went berserk and smashed windows and destroyed the entire shul (you can see some video in the Kikar article).
The Admor of Nitra, when he heard about the incident, cried about it and cursed the people who destroyed the shul with an "unusual death".
Best comment I heard? On Facebook, from DK:

They came for Orot, and noone protested, then they came for Satmar, and there was no one left to protest...

As well, from Ben, maybe it is time some rabbonim consider the weight of their words when they talk about how bad iphones are. This is over the top, and is, at least partially, a result of the demonization of the iphones and their users..
Hopefully this will be the straw that breaks the camels back and maybe their own community, or those right around it, will finally do something about it...

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