Torah scrolls lost in South African synagogue fire

Cape Town synagogue went ablaze with flames.

December 5, 2018 15:38
1 minute read.
A burnt synagogue at Chania town on the Greek island of Crete

A burnt synagogue at Chania town on the Greek island of Crete. (photo credit: REUTERS/GEORGE PAPANIKOLAOU)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The Beit Midrash Morasha synagogue located in Sea Point, Cape Town, South Africa burned down Tuesday evening. While local firefighters battled the blaze and there were no injuries, seven Torah scrolls were lost, the Jewish Press reported.

“The South African Jewish Board of Deputies can confirm on behalf of the synagogue that there are no injuries, and investigators report no signs of foul play at this stage and await the outcome of a full investigation," Rael Kaimowitz, the group's spokesperson, said, according to a report in the Jewish Press. "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."

"The Arthur’s Road Shul in Sea Point on fire tonight," an eyewitness wrote on Twitter. "I’m told the cause was likely Chanukah candles."

Other local witnesses to the fire noted that many of the synagogues sacred books were rescued.

"Doesn't look like anyone got hurt," Annette de Wet wrote on Twitter. "Shout out to CapeTown firemen and MIRACLE that loads of precious books are being saved from Sea Point Hebrew Congreration [sic] which caught fire."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

May 23, 2019
Bahrain and the naysayers