Berlin Rabbi After Antisemitic Attack: ‘We Will Not Hide’
Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal was cursed at and spat on while walking in Berlin with one of his children yesterday. However, in the aftermath of the attack, he swore that the greater Jewish people would persevere in the face of this adversity.
In yet another instance highlighting rising antisemitism in Europe, Rabbi Teichtal, a prominent Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Berlin, was accosted near a synagogue where he had just led services. The hate-crime unit of the Berlin police have started an investigation and are still looking for suspects.
Lieber @RabbiTeichtal , wir stehen an Deiner Seite. Jüdisches Leben muss in #Berlin öffentlich und sichtbar sein können, ohne dass Menschen Angst vor antisemitischen Übergriffen haben müssen. Dafür setzen wir uns gemeinsam mit aller Kraft ein. #Soldiarität #gegenAntisemitismus pic.twitter.com/4wo5hfAv8u— Ramona Pop (@RamonaPop) July 31, 2019
In a statement, Rabbi Teichtal emphasized that he was “convinced that most people in Berlin do not want to accept this aggression against Jews as a sad part of Jewish everyday life.” He added that he would continue preaching, and not let this act deter him. R. Gideon Joffe, chairman of the Jewish Community of Berlin, added that the Rabbi is a “love preacher” and advocates for the “love for the dignity of man.” The fact that he was attacked while with his child makes this incident even more abhorrent.
Recent statistics show that antisemitism is on the rise worldwide, in Germany especially, and on the European continent the situation is becoming increasingly dire. In the past year, antisemitic incidents in Germany grew by almost 20%, and in a survey by the European Fundamental Rights Agency almost 90% of European Jews believe antisemitism has gotten worse over the past 5 years.
Rabbi Teichtal of the Berlin Chabad center was reportedly harassed and spit on by two men this past weekend. While with his young son. Terrible. Knowing Rabbi Teichtal, I'm certain this will only strengthen his commitment to spreading light, peace and dialogue. https://t.co/YHygBkrY8I— Michael Snow (@Michael_Sn0w) July 31, 2019
Additionally, as became clear in the same study, almost 40% of European Jews have considered emigrating from Europe because they do not feel safe. Incidents like this one embody the concerns of European Jews, and they are far too common. The most recent attack on Teichtal shows that more must be done to keep Jewish communities across the globe like this one safe.