Largest synagogue in Northwest vandalized with anti-Semitic message

SEATTLE -- They are only words but the feelings they conjure up are painful.

“The language of the graffiti testifies to a degree of sophistication not just the old tropes of Holocaust denial, the notion of fake history using tropes of our president,” Rabbi Daniel Weiner said.

Someone sprayed` Holocaust is fake history` on Temple De Hirsch Sinai, a synagogue with members who survived the Holocaust.

“A real feeling of heaviness and sadness but again I wasn`t surprised,” Weiner said.

Weiner sees the words as a hate crime and he`s fighting back by leaving them up for at least today.

“I think it’s critically important that we not cover this stuff up, that we not sweep this under the rug,” Weiner said.

Weiner added that he`s disturbed by the growing trend of attacks on synagogues and mosques locally and across the nation.

“There is a growing sense in our community, within our nation, those in the margins before who now feel that`s permissible,” Weiner said.

Shortly after Q13 News interviewed the rabbi, police were called again to the temple, this time for a suspicious package.

“We take it very seriously,” Assistant Police Chief Robert Merner said.

Turns out the suspicious package was a box of books, a donation to a rabbi left outside the entrance of the synagogue. No one told the synagogue about the delivery ahead of time, leading to the scare.

“Folks get scared and rightfully so,” Merner said.

Federal officials say there have been 120 threats in dozens of states since early January.

Seattle police say they are investigating the Capitol Hill temple’s case as a bias crime.

If there is any good from bad, the rabbi says it`s brought different religions and people together

“Crisis brings out the best in our community,” Weiner said.

The temple will erase the graffiti over the weekend but the rabbi says he will continue to work with other faith leaders to spread awareness that hate crimes are going up.

Temple De Hirsch Sinai is the largest synagogue in the Pacific Northwest with more than 6,000 members.