Dec 4, 2018
Fire Burns Shul in Cape Town

Arthurs Road Shul in Cape Town, South Africa, went up in flames Tuesday night, as many as 7 Sifrei Torah reported destroyed.

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."

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Opinions and Comments
Only good things
May the whole Cape Town and South African community only know of good things so sorry to hear this terrible news .
(12/4/2018 11:19:37 PM)
Sefer Torah
It hurts so much to see a Sefer Torah like that. Moshiach Now!
(12/4/2018 11:25:19 PM)
The even hapina was placed by chasidei Chabad over 100 years ago
(12/5/2018 1:26:16 AM)
Ex Capetonian
This is the shul that the Chabad Shluchim came to when they first came to Cape Town in 1976, Rabbi Mendel and Avi Popack and Rabbi Chaim Meyer and Sara Lieberman.

I believe Rabbi Gurary was there, too.

Many happy memories of that building.

So devastated to hear the news.
(12/5/2018 10:01:49 AM)
BH nobody was hurt!!!
(12/5/2018 1:12:38 PM)
(12/5/2018 1:46:07 PM)
to number 4
Yes, Rabbi Gourarie a"h was the Rov there for about 7 years in the late 1950s/early 1960s
(12/5/2018 2:29:59 PM)
Fireproof Arons
Every shul needs to have a fireproof Aron! They are available for purchase!
(12/5/2018 7:35:18 PM)
Chanukah is about rebuilding
BS"D Chanukah is dedicated to rebuilding the Bais Hamigdash.
May the Arthurs Road Shul be rebuilt bigger and better than before!
(12/5/2018 11:30:17 PM)
Every Aaron kodesh should be fireproof.

(12/6/2018 10:29:31 AM)
They've launched a campaign for this
(12/6/2018 12:24:30 PM)
From Dalya Cohen Erster
This was one of the Shul''s of my youth, a true home away from home. So many incredible Shabbas and Yomtov''s and so much more. So greatful for the outpouring of love of so many.
It is correct that the Lieberman's and Popacks and Rabbi Gourarie a'h were at Arthur Road in the 70's.
May this Shul be rebuilt and may the community be strengthened
(12/6/2018 1:51:35 PM)
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