Life in Tsfat

Safed Police Open Synagogue With Recovered Torah Scroll!

by Yehuda Sugar

July 12, 2012 11:00 AM (as posted on //

SAFED, Israel – Deriving inspiration from its role in the recovery of six stolen Torah scrolls, the Safed branch of the Israel Police has established a synagogue in the local police station and arranged for the use of one of the scrolls belonging to the holy city’s historic Tzemach Tzedek Synagogue.

Rabbi Gavriel Marzel, director of the Chabad-Lubavitch institution, says he was happy to loan the Torah to the police on a trial basis for two months, especially considering the time of year. The development comes during the three-week period preceding the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av and the anniversary of the destruction of both of the Holy Temples in Jerusalem.

“We know that from darkness comes the greatest light,” said Marzel, “and that the anniversary of the Temples’ destruction will one day become the most joyous day on the calendar. Similarly, our Torah scrolls’ theft and recovery brought about the birth of another synagogue.”

The Torahs had been discovered missing on May 5, sparking a nationwide recovery effort. They were found several days later in an abandoned house.

A ceremony celebrating the arrival of the police station’s Torah scroll took place on Monday. The dancing entourage included Safed Police Chief Ofer Kotrovich and about 20 other officers.

Another synagogue donated an ark and prayer books for the station’s use.

Marzel credited a young volunteer officer working with the force as part of his tour of duty in the Israeli National Service with the idea for the new synagogue.


[Yehuda Sugar is a former wire service journalist from Chicago who currently freelances for, and other news outlets. He lives in Tsfat with his wife and four children.]

Redesign and implementation - By WEB-ACTION