Russian synagogues attacked

From JTA, Sept. 24:

A synagogue in the southern city of Astrakhan was vandalized twice within a few hours early Friday. In one attack, assailants threw a Molotov cocktail at the synagogue, setting its door ablaze. A guard at the building quickly put out the fire. Another synagogue was vandalized in the far eastern city of Khabarovsk, where vandals threw stones at a shul shattering several windows. Criminal investigations were launched into both attacks.

Russian Jewish organizations expressed shock and indignation over the incidents. Berel Lazar, one of Russia’s two chief rabbis and leader of the Federation of Jewish Communities, the country’s largest Jewish group, said Russian Jews could express their solidarity with the stricken communities by showing up for Friday night synagogue services across the country. “If the God-haters who attacked the synagogues wanted that way to scare Jews on these holy days, I am sure they have miscalculated,” Lazar said in a statement.

Its a good thing the global wave of resurgent anti-Semitism is all in our imagination, as the good folks at Counterpunch keep reminding us.

By the way, we always wonder whether people who torch synagogues on the eve of Rosh Hashana are in league with or opposed to people who shoot up mosques on the eve of Ramadan. It could go either way.

See our last post on Russia.