By COLlive reporter
2 Yeshiva bochurim were arrested on Sunday on suspicion of desecrating the gravesite of Rabbi Levi Bistritzky OBM, one of the Rebbe‘s Shluchim to the land of Israel who served as Chief Rabbi of the holy city of Tzfas.
A police complaint was filed by his son and successor Rabbi Mordechai Bistritzky after visitors to the Jewish cemetery discovered the disrespect.
The suspects, both 15 years old, are reportedly residents of Tzfas and Migdal Haemek.
They have allegedly erased the inscription on the headstone that referred to the Rebbe with the title “Zya,” may his merit be for a protection as is written about tzadikim who passed away.
“Israeli Police takes the case very seriously,” they said in a statement. “As soon as the complaint was received, an investigation was opened that led to the quick arrest of the suspects in the execution of the act.”
Israel’s Chief Rabbi David Lau condemned the criminal act. “I was shocked by the terrible damage to the grave of Rabbi Levi Bistritzky in Tzfas,” he wrote in a letter. “This is doubly serious when this criminal act is repeated from time to time. I do not know how anyone dared to raise a hand to harm the gravestone.”
Visitors to the cemetery later discovered the same act – erasing honorary titles written about the Rebbe – on the gravestones of the legendary chossid and activist R’ Pinye Althaus and Rabbi Leibel Kaplan, Head Shliach of Tzfas.
“This phenomenon must be uprooted,” commented Ami Pykovski, a Chabad businessman and activist. “The Rosh Yeshivas must condemn and denounce these boys until they understand what they have done. It’s like killing a person a second time.”