Police in Israel have reportedly arrested a rabbi suspected of stealing seven Torah scrolls from the synagogue of Moshav Brosh near Be’er Sheva.
Kikar HaShabat reported that on Oct. 10 police requested that the Be’er Sheva Magistrate’s Court remand the suspect for a further 24 hours. He had been arrested the previous day, the news site reported.
According to police, the anonymous rabbi has already confessed to taking seven Torah scrolls from the synagogue.
The alleged theft was discovered on Simchat Torah, Oct. 8, atime when all the stored Torah scrolls are taken out for the hakafot ceremonies, as individuals carry them and dance with them in a circle.
As the Brosh synagogue one worshiper opened the ark, after his boy asked to see the sheepskin on which the Torah is written, and they discovered blank poster-board sheets which had been put there in place of the Torahs.
Mordechai Deri, a regular member of the synagogue, Ma’ariv that he inspected all other seven Torah scrolls and found they had been replaced, too.
“It was horrible,” he said.
Deri then related that the suspect approached him, saying, “Mordechai, talk to your son, tell him not to make a big deal out of this. I only took the Torah scroll to fix it and tomorrow I’ll bring it back.”
The day after, when worshippers sought to figure out the extent of the damage, they realized that seven scrolls had been stolen altogether.
JTA contributed to this report