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Jewish scrolls burned in potential hate crime

By Julie Cannold, CNN
updated 9:26 PM EDT, Wed April 10, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NYPD searches for person who set fire to 11 mezuzahs
  • An additional one is discovered burned inside the apartment building next door
  • "This was a brazen act of religious desecration," official says

New York (CNN) -- Police are questioning one person in a string of potential hate crimes in New York in which 12 mezuzahs were set ablaze as they hung on door frames outside Jews' homes.

According to the New York Police Department, someone set fire to 11 mezuzahs inside an apartment complex in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn on Monday, which was also Holocaust Remembrance Day. An additional one was discovered burned inside the apartment building next door a day later.

"This was a brazen act of religious desecration, and it is something that is shocking to everyone in this community," City Councilman Stephen Levin told CNN affiliate WABC.

A mezuzah is usually found attached to a door frame outside some Jews' homes. It contains Hebrew verses from the Torah, printed on parchment, rolled up and put inside the case.

At an unrelated news conference, Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the acts "disgraceful" and said that "ruining somebody else's religious symbols is just wrong."

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