Secret Tunnel Under New York Synagogue Creates Crazy Scene

( – Police responded to a crazy scene at a New York synagogue after students belonging to a fringe religious group attempted to block a cement truck that came to fill in a secret tunnel. The bizarre scene unfolded after the group tore through a wall, breaking into a small space near the tunnel entrance, and then rushed in to create a human blockade.

Newsweek reports that the passage, which is no taller or wider than a crawl space, was discovered by a construction worker, who found that it led to a nearby Jewish ritual bathhouse, or mikvah. The reason behind its construction is still unclear. A leaked copy of footage beneath the bathhouse, shared on Instagram, shows where its builders broke through a brick wall in the building’s basement to create the access tunnel on that side.

A separate clip, which went viral on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, shows the clash between New York police and the students who’d broken in. Some participants are visible standing in a passage behind wooden wall paneling they’d torn away, which reportedly offered access to the secret passage on that side, while others in the clip add to the vandalism by piling and displacing pews to barricade the area.

Forward reports that the perpetrators belong to a movement called Chabad Messianism, a fringe Jewish group that believes Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson was the messiah. They’re not affiliated with the synagogue or any of its official members, who have been jumping through legal hoops to gain full control over the premises.

Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters issued a statement, which it shared on X, thanking the New York Police Department for dealing with the situation with “professionalism and sensitivity.” It expressed sadness over the vandalism, which it condemned as “odious.” At least 10 people were arrested for clashing with police and refusing to leave the tunnel.

Copyright 2024,