Barcelona's Jewish community to hold special service for terror victims

"We all pray for the victims of the horrific terrorist attacks and share Spain's sorrow."

August 18, 2017 19:57
2 minute read.
Barcelona's Jewish community to hold special service for terror victims

A still image from video shows a police cordon on a street in Barcelona, Spain following a van ramming. (photo credit: REUTERS TV)

Members of Barcelona's Jewish community arranged a special prayer service to remember the victims of the recent terror attacks in Catalonia and to pray for the recovery of the casualties.

A van attack in Barcelona on Thursday left at least 14 people dead and more than 100 wounded.

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Hours later, early Friday, police killed five men during a raid in Cambrils, 75 miles south of Barcelona; authorities said the men were terrorists planning an attack. Catalan emergency services said six civilians and a police officer had been injured in the incident, which police said was linked to the first attack.

Chief Rabbi of Barcelona Meir Bar-Hen announced that Shabbat prayer and shiurim (lessons) would take place as usual in the Great Synagogue, after all Jewish institutions in the city had closed for 24 hours upon the instruction of the authorities after the attack in Barcelona.

On Friday morning, the security services and police met with the security officer of the Jewish community and increased security measures, according to the Conference of European Rabbis, of which Bar-Hen is a member.

Bar-Hen said that in accordance with the requests of the security services, anyone planning to attend Shabbat services at the synagogue must send in a photo of their passport before the start of Shabbat; nobody will be allowed to enter the building without identification.

Meanwhile, President of the Conference of European Rabbis, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, sent a letter of condolence to King Felipe VI of Spain.

In his letter, Goldschmidt recalled words spoken by King Felipe VI upon receiving the Conference of European Rabbis’ Lord Jakobovits Prize last year, when he said: "It is our duty to investigate, educate, prevent, and bring democratic values ​​as a guarantee of honor and coexistence. No society is safe from madness. The Holocaust represented total failure in the face of evil and we must learn the lessons of history so that something like this can never happen again."

Goldschmidt also wrote that the Jewish people "understands well the meaning of terrorism. We all pray for the victims of the horrific terrorist attacks and share Spain's sorrow."

The Jewish Community of Barcelona too expressed its sadness at the recent events.

"With our heart shrunk by the attack on our city, from the Jewish Community of Barcelona, we want to show our revulsion at yesterday's terrorist attacks and condemn anyone who defends violence," a message posted to the groups's Facebook page read.

"All the strength and esteem for the victims, their families and citizens of Barcelona. In spite of everything, and with more force than ever, we wish you a shabbat shalom."

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