(A7) A sophomore at George Washington University reported that her mezuzah was stolen from her door and defaced before it was returned on Tuesday.
The incident occurred only days after a Torah in the university’s Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity house was desecrated.
Student Emma Reese explained that her George Washington University-themed mezuzah was taken from the doorpost of her dorm room on Sunday night, the GW Hatchet student newspaper reported.
The damaged mezuzah showed up back on her door on Tuesday morning after she called on social media for it to be returned.
Reese told the student newspaper that the mezuzah had been unwrapped and rewrapped, and that a torn bead had been ripped off, which seemed to indicate that someone had tried to get at the prayers inside of it.
She added that the mezuzah has a hand on it that points downward but someone had turned it the other direction.
Stating she was “more sad than I am angry,” the student went on to lament the fact that the anti-Semitism experienced by her grandmother and mother was still going on.
“It just sucks knowing that I’m next in line for this kind of stuff,” she told the Hatchet.
Reese noted that someone had been reorienting her mezuzah since the beginning of the semester, straightening it despite the tradition of tilting it toward the door.
The campus crime log shows a case was logged on Tuesday that is still open. The charge is “defacing or burning cross or religious symbol” at Shenkman Hall.
In response to the desecration of the Torah, a rally is set to take place at George Washington University on Monday.
One of the Jewish organizations serving the campus is organizing the “Torah procession and solidarity rally” with Tau Kappa Epsilon for Monday afternoon. The announcement on Instagram shows a number of participating groups including the campus Hillel, which said that it would host a discussion space at its building during the hour before the rally for students to talk about the incident.
“When hatred rears its ugly head, we must come together as a powerful force of love and unity,” the post announcing the rally said. “We call upon students and faculty of every persuasion and ethnicity to stand in solidarity with [Tau Kappa Epsilon] students and the wider Jewish community.”