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iPhones Lead to Vandalism Attack Against a Beit Shemesh Shul

iphExtremists perpetrated a vandalism attack against the Nitra ( נייטרא) Shul in the Nachlah U’Menuchah neighborhood of Beit Shemesh. Kikar Shabbos reports that based on witnesses, the attack is the result of chareidi youths seated in the shul while using their iPhones. Windows were broken and doors unhinged. One witness explains he saw a policeman pick up tefilin from the ground. The attack occurred on Wednesday, 23 Nissan 5774.

According to the report, the story begins a year ago when askanim close to the rav of the neighborhood, Rabbi Nosson Kupshitz, worked to close the Satmar Shul, which is now the Nitra Shul that serves mispallalim from different streams. The shul only operates on Shabbos. The askanim explain that since the shul is not in use on weekdays, the youths take advantage of the venue to use their iPhones and the internet. One of the askanim was given keys to the shul to permit him to conduct surprise visits as part of the ongoing effort to oust the youths. Kikar adds that “people in the know” who have firsthand knowledge of the situation state the askan had one mission, to close the shul at all cost.

On Wednesday evening he got his opportunity. He entered the shul and found a number of youths using a computer. What the askan did not know is that they were using the computer that belongs to the Nitra Rebbe Shlita and they were involved in divrei Torah on the computer, nothing more.

Witnesses report the askan, who we will call S.R. began shouting at the youths for daring to use a computer in front of an Aron Kodesh. The youths tried to show S.R. the computer belongs to the rebbe, and it does not have internet. S.R. did not hear their words and shouted at them, accusing them of defiling the community and blaming them for tragedies that befall the tzibur.

The witnesses’ report that S.R. was shouting out of control “as if he was possessed” and the boys fled, leaving him and two others in the shul.

“We returned later and saw police outside” one of the youths reports, adding they entered the shul and were simply shocked to see the damage that was caused. Broken windows, broken and unhinged doors, overturned benches and tashmishei kodesh thrown around. Toilets were broken and the shul was disgraced to put it mildly.

Crime scene technicians took fingerprints and found a hammer which they believed was used in the vandalism attack. The rebbe, Rav Amram Gross, who was in Bnei Brak at the time, heard what occurred and broke down in tears.

The witnesses add that S.R. fled before police arrived.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

6 Responses

  1. Really? the Rebbe (or anyone) needs a heter to have a computer “without” internet? shirley, you must be kidding.

  2. how do they get WiFi in an unused building (during the week)?

    but it is nice of the religious nuts to show off their extremism instead of their service to G-d who detests these people.

  3. Something about the story smells rather fishy. A buncha of ‘innocent’ youths who were hidden tzaddikim that don’t use the internet, and are close enough to the Rebbe to use his personal computer, go into an empty shul to secretly learn torah on a computer (???). They are caught by a well-meaning ‘askan’ who is just concerned for the kedusha of the holy makom. Most of the youths peacefully depart, leaving behind two of the youths and the askan.

    So who on Earth vandalized the shul, if there were no evil-doers present?

    The computer did not have internet access, so the sheidim could not have come in through the wifi…

  4. Also, the title and statements of the witnesses at the start of the article blame it on iPhones. The rest of the article neglects to mention how iPhones had anything to do with it.

    Also, why do people have to go into an empty shul to use their phones?

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