By COLlive reporter
Beit Midrash Morasha – Arthurs Road Hebrew Congregation, an Orthodox synagogue in Sea Point, one of Cape Town’s most affluent and densely populated suburbs, has been badly damaged in a fire.
South Africa’s Eyewitness News website reported that emergency crews responded to the blaze on Tuesday night and no injuries have been reported.
“What was unbelievable was seeing them go into the fire to rescue our religious artifacts, our books, Torahs and all prayer artifacts,” a resident told the website. The shul is led by Rabbi Sam Thurgood.
Despite the efforts of the congregation to save the holy books and Sifrei Torah, as many as 7 Sifrei Torahs were destroyed, devastated Shul members said.
Rael Kaimowitz, Chairman of the Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies said police investigators reported that no signs of foul play at this stage and that it awaits the outcome of a full investigation.
“The City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services need to be thanked for their bravery as they battle this blaze. We know that every effort is being made to save any holy books and religious articles,” they said.
Community leaders called on the public to “Please join us in Sea Point for the 6:30 am Shacharit Minyan, outside the beloved “Arthurs Rd Shul”. Let’s stand together as a community. May the light of Chanukah illuminate this terrible darkness.”
So sad to see this. This is from our balcony. Glad that nobody was hurt. pic.twitter.com/7izW5Qvo79
— Lianne du Toit (@Barefoot_Binary) December 5, 2018