For the second time in three weeks, a tragedy hits the Jewish Orthodox world. After the massacre that occurred at the end of April on Mount Meron (where 45 faithful were swept away by an oceanic crowd during the religious ceremony of Lag ba-Omer), again, a mass religious event ended in tragedy. In the inauguration of a synagogue in Jerusalem organized on the anniversary of Shavuot (which commemorates the delivery of the Tables of the Law to the Jewish people), a forum crammed with members of the Orthodox rabbinical court of Carlin collapsed. As in Mount Meron also in the synagogue of Jerusalem a mass of people (who was sitting in the upper part of the tribune) fell on those who were below, creating an inextricable human mass.
A first provisional toll speaks of 2 dead and over 130 injured but worrying updates have come from the hospitals in Jerusalem, which raise fear of an even heavier toll. The incident took place in the Orthodox neighborhood of Givat Zeev, on the northern outskirts of Jerusalem. In recent years, the Rabbinical Court of Carlin has taken root increasingly strong in that neighborhood and now - with the new synagogue - it also wanted to physically flaunt its presence. But the building, the broadcasters said, had not yet been completed and the grandstand apparently also had not obtained the necessary permits from the fire brigade.
Previously, the Carlin management had made it known that the Shavuot event had been organized with strict security measures, precisely because of the shock following the massacre in Galilee. At the first dusk, hundreds of faithful, who wore the clothes of the feast, crowded into the synagogue to witness the beginning of the ceremony. But not long after, the party turned into a drama.
Dozens of ambulances then rushed from various districts of Jerusalem to assist the wounded: but the particular topography of the neighborhood, characterized by narrow streets, caused traffic jams and delays in rescue operations. Helicopters had to be used to collect the most seriously injured. Once again, as after the massacre on Mount Meron, the Orthodox world is forced to carry out an examination of conscience. Police investigations into those responsible for the deaths of the 45 faithful were soon shelved by the Orthodox press which found it more important to ask what the theological reasons for the disaster were. An authoritative rabbi would have accused it, for example, of insufficient modesty among Orthodox women and would have encouraged the faithful to engage more forcefully in the study of the Bible. Even now, presumably,the Orthodox community will once again question itself about its own possible moral shortcomings, leaving to others the task of verifying the building permits and those of the firefighters.