NEW YORK (Aug. 20)
The Committee for the Rescue of Syrian Jewry said it has received reports from Syria that the 2350-year-old synagogue of Ezra the Scribe in Todef near Aleppo has been taken over by unidentified individuals who are using it and the adjacent shrine as animal stables. The Jewish cemetery in Todef has also been taken over by the same individuals who are using it as a pasture for animals.
In telegrams to President Carter and United Nations Secretary General Kurt Woldheim, Committee president, Abraham Dwek called their attention to these outrages and urged them to protest the “desecration of the holy places and cemetery and to call upon the Syrian government to take appropriate measures for the immediate eviction of these individuals, the preservation of the sanctity of those places and their restoration to the Jewish community.”
Dwek noted that it was in Todef, “on the river Ahava,” according to the Bible, that Ezra the Scribe proclaimed a fast when he stopped there for three days during his perilous journey from Babylon with the returning Jewish exiles to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple.