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Siberian Shul Damaged By Meteorite

February 17, 2013 By:
JTA
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The meteorite entering the atmosphere above Chelyabisnk, Russia, Feb. 15, 2013. (YouTube)

The meteorite that fell in Siberia and has made headlines around the world caused slight damage to a synagogue in Siberia. 

On Friday, Rabbi Yechiel Michel Levitin, director of the Or Avner Jewish day school in Chelyabinsk, a city located 1,000 miles east of Moscow, was quoted by an Israeli website as saying congregants heard a huge explosion during morning prayers followed by a bright flash that lit up the sky.

“Glasses shattered and people tried to escape, but they weren't sure where to go,” Levitin told COL, a media outlet affiliated with Chabad. “Outside we were told a meteor had fallen from the space.”

Media on Friday reported a suspected extraterrestrial object had landed somewhere in western Siberia.Videos posted on YouTube by drivers in the area showed a bright orb streaking the early morning sky. Later it was determined that a meteorite had struck nearby.

Levitin uploaded photos of the Chelyabisnk synagogue's stained-glass windows, which he said were shattered by the shock waves. The rabbi said one congregant was spared serious injury when a large shard of glass landed in his seat seconds after he went to the window to investigate the cause of the blast.

“It was a real miracle,” Levitin was reported saying.

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