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Rabbi Opposes Erasing of Swastikas Until Police Capture Culprits

A Toronto rabbi said today that swastikas smeared on synagogues and other Jewish buildings in the Toronto area should be left untouched on the buildings as a public reminder that there were still individuals in the city filled with “hatred, depravity and perversion.”

Rabbi Erwin Schild of Adath Israel said the swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans should be allowed to remain until police caught the culprits. He contended that the smearing were “not a mark of shame for Toronto Jewry” but rather “marks of shame for the community in general.”

He said that “by hastily scrubbing off and covering up these marks we might give the appearance of being ashamed or hurt, thus encouraging further defacing of our buildings.” Removing the smears, he added, also might “beguile people into thinking that we have eradicated the evil which lurks in depraved human minds. “

He also expressed strong opposition to suggestions that Jewish organizations take direct action to protect Jewish buildings and catch the culprits, declaring that “in an ordered society, the protection of property is the concern of government and police.”

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