‘’In recent years, much has been heard of hate preachers who incite hatred between people of the opposite faith. Our Rabbi Teichtal is the complete opposite. In the Jewish community in Berlin he has earned the reputation of a “love preacher”. He is exemplary in his commitment to a togetherness between all religions and cultures through the love of human dignity.”
BERLIN—The Jewish community of Berlin has condemned an anti-Semitic attack on the city’s Chabad rabbi, Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal.
The rabbi was insulted and spat by two men speaking Arabic as he was heading home from synagogue with his son. Police have started an investigation and said they were treating the incident as a religiously motivated crime.
The attack occurred as the rabbi was walking past an apartment building in the Wilmersdorf district of Berlin.
Yehuda Teichtal said: “Unfortunately, we have to say that the aggression against Jews has developed a life of its own, both in the schoolyards and on the streets of Berlin. But I remain 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 : ‘’Most Berliners want Jewish people to be able to openly live their Judaism without fear of being insulted, spit on or even beaten. Of course we will not hide now, but continue to build on love, tolerance, dialogue and education. ”
Gideon Joffe, who heads the Jewish community of Berlin, told the Juedische Allgemeine : ‘’In recent years, much has been heard of hate preachers who incite hatred between people of the opposite faith. Our Rabbi Teichtal is the complete opposite. In the Jewish community in Berlin he has earned the reputation of a “love preacher”. He is exemplary in his commitment to a togetherness between all religions and cultures through the love of human dignity. «
‘’This incident proves how important it is to strengthen the fight against anti-Semitism with further practical measures. Above all, “police officers who were to serve in civilian clothes should now also ensure that our prayers can proceed undisturbed on their way to the synagogue and back in the vicinity of our places of worship,” he added.
Berlin Mayor Michael Müller firmly condemned the anti-Semitic assault on the rabbi. “The investigative authorities will do their utmost to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice,” he said.
“Berlin as a” city of freedom “is also and not least a city of religious freedom, in which all citizens, regardless of their faith, can exercise their religion freely and unmolested. Ensuring this is a key responsibility of the state. Anti-Semitism has no place on the streets and in the school yards of our city,’’ the mayor said.
Earlier this week, two Syrian men were arrested after an antisemitic attack against a man donning a kippah in the city of Potsdam, close to Berlin.
Earlier this year, a leading German antisemitism watchdog group reported that anti-Jewish violence in Berlin jumped over 150% last year. since 2017.
The report by the Berlin-based Research and Information Center for anti-Semitism (RIAS) said that 1,083 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in the city in 2018, compared to the 951 incidents reported the year before.
Over half of the incidents targeted what the report categorized as identifiably “Jewish/Israeli” organizations, individuals or activists in Berlin.
The report noted a sharp rise in physical assaults targeting Jews in the city, from 18 attacks reported in 2017 to 48 in 2018. Threats made against the Berlin Jewish community nearly doubled in the last year, with 46 incidents reported in 2018, compared with 26 in 2017.