Rabbi stunned as thieves target holiday apartment
By CRAIG McTEAR
RABBI Dov Oliver probably didn't think to lock the door as he left his Park Beach holiday apartment, but the error of judgement has now cost him dearly.
He walked out at 9.10pm on Monday to go to an internet cafe. His wife, Sheva, and their one-year-old daughter, Hadassah, stayed behind.
Sheva was upstairs when she heard what she thought was her husband returning about 9.55pm, but when it wasn't Dov, she figured it must have been the thunder.
Dov walked in the door 10 minutes later and noticed a few things missing from the dining table.
Gone were his large black embroidered leather bag with religious paraphernalia, along with a prayer book, a video camera with memories of his family's stay, and a mobile phone.
He'll have to fork out $5000 to replace it all, but it was what the bag contained which he'll miss the most.
Two sets of phylacteries, or Jewish wraps ? which he's had since he came of age ? and a prayer shawl are now in the hands of someone who probably has no idea what they are.
"I was shattered because they're treasured possessions. It's a senseless thing for someone to do because the items are of no value to them," he said.
Luckily, the thieves overlooked the $30,000 Torah (pre-dating World War II and written in Eastern Europe) which was in a glass cabinet.
"If that had gone, I'd be in strife, because it's not mine," Dov said.
"I personally think someone was keeping an eye out and when they watched my car drive off, they snuck inside.
"It all probably happened in 20 seconds. It's freaky. Thank goodness my wife and daughter were unharmed."
The Oliver family sets off today after an otherwise enjoyable week of Shavuot celebrations and the official establishment of the Coffs Coast Jewish Community.
If you saw suspicious activity at the intersection of Ocean Parade and Fitzgerald Street on Monday about 10pm, you are urged to contact Coffs Harbour police on 6652 0299, or Rabbi Dov on 0425 730 412.