A Sefer Torah (Torah scroll) donated to the Knesset has disappeared just one day after the event, Arutz Sheva discovered in an independent investigation Wednesday, based on what may be a double standard about accepting gifts.
The dedication ceremony for the Torah scroll, which was donated to the Knesset official synagogue, was held Tuesday night. The scroll was written in the memory of hundreds of thousands of IDF soldiers, partisan fighters, and Jews who risked their lives in the war against the Nazis and collaborators.
The ceremony was attended, among others, by Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein (Likud), ministers, MKs, the Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv-Jaffa Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, ambassadors and representatives of Allied Veterans.
But when one Arutz Sheva reporter visited the synagogue Wednesday morning for prayers, the Torah scroll had disappeared.
After checking with the Attorney General's Office (AGO), advisor Eyal Yinon stated to Arutz Sheva that the Knesset has banned the scroll from being brought into the official synagogue as a gift on the grounds of an official Knesset policy against accepting contributions.
"His [Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein – ed.] position is that the Knesset should refrain from accepting gifts and donations from bodies and individuals, and indeed in recent years the synagogue was careful to routinely reject proposals and requests for donations to the Knesset, including donations to the synagogue," the office stated. "The situation is different when a gift is given to the Knesset by a foreign head of state […] as is customary in this type of meetings between the two sides exchanged gifts."
Despite this, tens of paintings and other artworks in the Knesset have been donated by various officials, countries, and organizations.
A source involved with the fiasco revealed to Arutz Sheva that all who were involved in the ceremony are "shocked," and slammed bad judgement on account of the AGO, when donated Marc Chagall artworks decorate the synagogue.
"We look forward to overturning the decision immediately," the source added.