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Outrageous: College Students Reportedly Hired Migrants to Tunnel Under Synagogue

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A group of Orthodox Hasidic students dug an underground tunnel without permits at a historic synagogue in Queens, leading to clashes with the police and the temporary shutdown of the building.

The students believed they were fulfilling a religious calling to expand the Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters, but their actions were denounced by community leaders.

The illegal excavation undermined the structural stability of the building, and the NYC Department of Buildings issued emergency work orders to stabilize the area. (Trending: Trump Defies Court And Delivers Closing Argument At Civil Fraud Trial)

Despite the significance of the building, rabbis, including Rabbi Shaul Wertheimer, expressed sadness and hope for the students to receive help.

“Again, I had no clue what was going on, but I glanced to the side and saw that there was part of the wall missing, and there seemed to be a cavity under what was ostensibly part of the women’s section,” Rabbi Shaul Wertheimer said.

“Things were escalating. A few policemen entered, a few more policemen entered, and I saw something was not right over there … I saw some young students sitting in that cavity.”

“You’ve seen the movie ‘The Shawshank Redemption?’ That’s what these young men did at first. They dug and put the dirt in their pockets,” Lubavitcher community member Eitan Kalmowitz said.

“This episode has been deeply painful for us and the entire Jewish community,” a Chabad spokesperson stated.

“On Monday evening, we alerted the authorities to the destruction and vandalism of the synagogue premises,” they said.

“With the assistance of the NYPD, the building was vacated later that evening in order to halt the vandalism and to allow for the building’s safety to be assessed.”

“I’m not excusing their actions,” Wertheimer said. “But someone who’s willing to destroy, vandalize and deface a synagogue, their own synagogue at that, I would have to imagine they need a little bit of help, and I hope they’re able to get that help.”

“It’s very sad. Very sad. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain,” he said. “The building, itself, holds tremendous significance, and that’s an understatement.

“The spirituality of the place and the Lubavitch Rebbe (leaders of the Chabad-Lubavitch dynasty), and his leadership and vision for changing the world for good all emanates from that building … To see the structure literally being defaced and destroyed, is heartbreaking.”

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