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Chief Rabbi's message

Last updated: 2004-06-29

Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks

Chief Rabbi

In the light of recent attacks on Jewish community property, the Chief Rabbi, Dr Jonathan Sacks, has issued the following message:

Today we send our prayers and shared grief to the members of the South Tottenham Synagogue and Aish Hatorah, both of whose buildings suffered arson attacks, and to the Middlesborough Jewish community whose cemetery was desecrated, within the past few days.


These were cowardly attacks. Worse, they were sacrilegious assaults on things we are known to hold holy.


The response of the Jewish communities concerned has been dignified and courageous. As one of the rabbis of Aish Hatorah said, “We believe in building the world. Others are set on burning it.”


At such times we remember the words of the Torah about our ancestors: “the more they were afflicted, the stronger they grew.” Let our response to evil be renewed commitment to the good; to desecration, the pursuit of holiness; and to violence, darkhei shalom, the ways of peace.


We will not be intimidated. May the damaged places be rebuilt. And may we continue to strengthen those who protect the community, to whom we owe so much.