A Holy Ark was set ablaze and a swastika was sprayed in red paint on to a Beit Midrash in the heart of Jerusalem in the wee hours of Thursday morning.
Both the Holy Ark – where the Torah scrolls rest – and its protective curtain were set on fire in the “Pitchei Olam” central synagogue at 57 King George Street, its decades-long location.
Anti-Semitic epithets and swastikas were also scrawled on walls around the building, situated at the heart of the capital’s shopping and tourism district.
Rabbinical students at the Beit Midrash told the Tazpit News Agency this is the third time this month the sanctity of the Beit Midrash has been violated.
Police and forensic investigators searched the building for evidence that could lead to the perpetrators.
“The circumstances surrounding this event are unclear,” Jerusalem police told Tazpit. “An investigation into the incident has been launched.” Police are confident they will track down the perpetrators.
In Ramat HaSharon, meanwhile, thieves stole a Torah scroll this week worth more than NIS 100,000.
The Torah was donated just a few months ago by a Bnei Brak family to the city’s main Beit Knesset, Geulat Yisrael, on Rabeinu Tam Street.
The busy synagogue is host to Ramat HaSharon Chief Rabbi Yaakov Edelstein. Police have opened an investigation into this desecration as well.