Police initially stopped Christchurch’s Chabad House Rabbi Shmuel Friedman when he tried to reach his stricken building following last week’s earthquake.
But when they heard why he wanted to reach the structure, they aided his mission – to recover two Torah scrolls.
Accompanied by Israeli backpacker Noam Diamant, Friedman on Wednesday headed towards the city center to what is left of the Chabad House.
Detective Chris Bell was manning a barricade and told the two hopefuls that there was no way he could let them into the central business district, as the entire area was cordoned off.
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