Saturday, September 6, 2008

Chevron - Muslims Urinated Next to Torah Scrolls in Moras Ha’Machpelah

Chevron - Muslims converged on the Cave of Patriarchs for Ramadan prayers, urinated next to Torah scrolls and left behind Hamas flags.

The desecration occurred on one of the 10 days during the year that the holy site is open only to Muslims and is closed to Jews. The same arrangement also is accorded to Jews on 10 holy Jewish days.

Uri Karzen, a Hevron resident, reported that a Kohen, who recites the priestly blessings during Sabbath morning service, told him he smelled urine next to the Oren Kodesh containing Torah scrolls. Karzen and other worshippers moved the table, where the Torah scrolls are placed during the reciting of the portion of the week, in order to avoid the foul smell.

The Hamas flags were discovered in the windows that mark the burial sites of Avraham and Yitzchak, Sarah, Rivka and Leah.

Hevron resident Asher Horowitz explained that he and others spotted the flags when they were returning holy books, which had been taken into safe storage before the prohibition from Jews entering the Cave of the Patriarchs went into effect. He used a stick to pull one of the flags from the marker of the burial site of Avraham and friends told him they found flags at other markers.

Ever since Muslims destroyed Torah scrolls in the Cave of the Patriarchs in the 1980s, Jews always remove holy books and lock the Holy Ark when they are prohibited from entering.

There are security cameras, but the place where urine was smelled may have been out of range of the cameras.

Hevron police said they know nothing about the incidents but that a complaint may not have been filed yet out of respect for the Sabbath.

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