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Arsonists' graffiti that adds the word "Galilee" to a prayer in which it says "you shall cut off their false idols."

UPDATE: Police arrested 16 suspects for arson but then released them two hours later.

Arsonists caused heavy damage to the offices and rooms at the Church of Loaves Fishes at the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) early Thursday morning and left graffiti which, freely translated, read: “Cut off the false idols of the Galilee.”


The original verse appears in the second part of the “Aleinu” prayer, said three times day, in which it is written “You shall cut off their false gods.”

The church that was set on fire is where Christians believe Jesus performed the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians visit the site every year, and the Tourism Ministry in recent years has promoted the development of Christian sites and churches, including places where missionaries are hard at work to convert Jews.

Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said that firefighters arrived at the church at 3:30 Thursdays morning and found the graffiti, which is firm ground for suspicions that arsonists set the blaze.

There always is the outside chance that the graffiti was several months old, that an electrical fire caused the blaze, that the Shin Bet was behind it to frame Jews, or perhaps the Christians themselves lit the match to spread an anti-Semitic blood libel.

It would be great to discover that one or all of the above are true, but until proven otherwise, Jews are assumed to be guilt, justly or not.

The Torah, in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:3 states:

וְנִתַּצְתֶּם אֶת מִזְבְּחֹתָם וְשִׁבַּרְתֶּם אֶת מַצֵּבֹתָם וַאֲשֵׁרֵיהֶם תִּשְׂרְפוּן בָּאֵשׁ וּפְסִילֵי אֱלֹהֵיהֶם תְּגַדֵּעוּן וְאִבַּדְתֶּם אֶת שְׁמָם מִן הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא

And you shall tear down their altars, smash their monuments, burn their asherim [false gods] with fire, cut down the graven images of their gods, and destroy their name from that place.

If the arson was set off by idiots who decided that they are God’s direct missionaries, they forgot there is another verse in the same book, chapter 17, verses 14-15:

כִּי תָבֹא אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ וִירִשְׁתָּהּ וְיָשַׁבְתָּה בָּהּ וְאָמַרְתָּ אָשִׂימָה עָלַי מֶלֶךְ כְּכָל הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתָי:

שׂוֹם תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בּוֹ מִקֶּרֶב אַחֶיךָ תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ לֹא תוּכַל לָתֵת עָלֶיךָ אִישׁ נָכְרִי אֲשֶׁר לֹא אָחִיךָ הוּא

When you come to the land the Lord, your God, is giving you, and you possess it and live therein, and you say, “I will set a king over myself, like all the nations around me,”

You shall set a king over you, one whom the Lord, your God, chooses; from among your brothers, you shall set a king over yourself; you shall not appoint a foreigner over yourself, one who is not your brother

In three weeks, Jews read the Torah portion of Pinchas, the priest who took a spear and killed a Jew and a non-Jewish woman form Midian for publicly joining idol worshipers.

God awarded him with the “covenant of peace” for his act, which stopped a plague that God brought on the people because of idol worship.

But Pinchas and only Pinchas could have done such an act and be rewarded. Anyone else would have been tarred and feathered.

The arsonists who torched the church this morning are not priests. They are not kings. They are not police. Their lunacy was an act of the low-life of low-lives.

They appointed themselves to carry out a commandment that is not necessarily directed at each and every Jew in Israel but at the entire people, who today have a country and a government.

It often does not function properly. It is not a religious government.

And there never will be religious government so long as some crazy people, possibly with a kippa on their heads, go around as if they are direct agents of God.

They even took a revered prayer and added the word “Galilee” on their authority.

And the truth is, they didn’t even cause much damage the church itself. They not only did not carry out a commandment, but they also violated several others, including the law of the Jewish country in which they have the privilege to live.


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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


  1. CUT!!!!!!! the penis!!!!!! and clitoris!!!!!! of these lgbt!!!!!! brained!!!!!! knesset!!!!!! fooliticians!!!!!! who!!!!!! cannot!!!!!! not completely!!!!!! demolish!!!!!! these!!!!!! filthy!!!!!! garbages!!!!!! IN THE LAND!!!!!!! OF YISRAEL!!!!!!!

  2. 1st The writer doesn't do a good job of translating. The verse in the prayer says that You (God), not you as a command to us (which it is obviously not), which the writer doesn't make clear, will destroy false gods & establish The Almighty's Kingdom.

    2nd: I'd like the writer to show some examples of what he says is “the Tourism Ministry in recent years has promoted the development of .. "including places where missionaries are hard at work to convert Jews.”

    3rd Would the writer please explain the connection (I have no clue what it is.) between times when it was a command from God (which it isn't now while we're in the state of golus, exile) of ridding the Land of Israel of things God doesn't like and the concept of anointing a king? If the writer is trying to say that since we don't have a king and are currently in a state of exile, so we don't harm other people's places, then that's true. But, there are a number of other things that have to be true for the Jewish people to be able to live as God wants, just with God, and without other things interfering. The last time this was the case was when we had a Sanhedrin with actual S'micha (I believe). In fact, even before the Temple was destroyed, we were no longer able to enforce all of our own laws in our land.

    4th Pinchos wasn't a kohain, a priest, which the writer leaves as an impression. He was made one by God as a unique exception for his shocking act of zeal on behalf of & in the presence of God (which was the case at the time of Moses). This unique act was, as the author conveys, not in any way similar to this stupid evil act.

    5th The writer states something completely not Jewish at all according to Jewish law. The following is absolutely and completely false for so many reasons. It's therefore very evil!
    “They appointed themselves to carry out a commandment that is not necessarily directed at each and every Jew in Israel but at the entire people, who today have a country and a government. It often does not function properly. It is not a religious government.”
    According to Jewish law, while we are in exile, Moishiach hasn't been revealed. The Holy Temple hasn't been made to appear from fire by God, & one of the doors built & installed by Moishiach. Even if Israel was an Orthodox Jewish country completely, it (or, it's Jewish citizens) would have no right to harm in any way the religious sites of other religions living in Israel. Orthodox Islam is NOT in any way a peaceful religion as codified, but a genocidal political movement. So, it doesn't belong anywhere in any civilized society.
    So, the writer's intimation that we as a nation in golus, if we were to have what he terms a religious government, would then be expected to or somehow permitted to harm Israeli churches is so absolutely not true and it's unnecessarily incendiary. The writer owes our allies in the war on Islam a sincere apology according to Jewish law. He should remove this evil falsehood from this article.

    To the extent, however, that there are hostile anti-Israel Arab Chrisian so-called Palestinian in Israel, they, along with the overwhelmingly genocidal Arab Muslims should, of course, be repatriated to Jordan & Egypt.

  3. It's unintelligent to compare an attack on & disrespect for a building to those who slice of the right hand & left foot of thieves, slice off the heads or incinerate those they don't like, throw blindfolded homosexuals off buildings.

  4. Pesach Aceman You don't understand the Jewish halachic status of the times between the destruction of the Bais Hamikdosh and the revelation of Moishiach & 3rd, final, and everlasting Bais Hamikdosh, i.e. Geulah (Redemption, True and Complete.) You are in Golus regardless of your living in the land of Israel, an overwhelmingly secular democratically elected dictatorship.

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