‘Better to sell to Muslims than to see it desecrated’

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French Jews were outraged last week to discover that a Marseilles synagogue had been sold and was being converted into a mosque, due to “changing demographics” in the country.

But it seems converting a synagogue into a mosque is better than destroying it – or leaving it to be defaced, a Jerusalem-area rabbi insisted Monday.

“It is better to sell a synagogue to be a mosque, and not a church – because Muslims are not [considered] idolators and Christians believe in cooperation [i.e. between God and Jesus – ed.],” Rabbi Eliyahu Schlesinger was quoted, in a discussion on haredi forum site B’Hadrei Haredim.

The main point, he said, is that – in the case of great need – it is ultimately better to shutter a synagogue and allow it to reopen under questionably permissible circumstances than to see it abandoned and, likely, desecrated by anti-Semites – or turned into a theater or other entertainment venue. He quoted Rabbi Moshe Feinstein in this latter opinion.