Friday, 18 Sep 2020 - 29 of Elul, 5780

Dozens of Jewish graves and tombstones desecrated in the Jewish cemetery in Worms, one of the oldest in Europe

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One of the famous residents of Worms was Rashi, a medieval French rabbi and author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud and commentary on the Tanakh.

Dozens of Jewish graves and tombstones were shattered and desecrated by unknown individuals in the Jewish cemetery in Worms considered as one of the oldest in Europe.

The Jewish community of Worms was established by the early eleventh century and the oldest tombstone still legible dates from 1058/59.

One of the famous residents of Worms was Rashi, a medieval French rabbi and author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud and commentary on the Tanakh.

Thousands of Jewish worshipers visit the Jewish cemetery every year.

Among the desecrated tombs was also the tomb of the Maharam of Rothenburg who served as one of the chief Ashkenazi rabbis in the Middle Ages (1220-1293) and was known for his pioneering leadership and position against domestic violence towards women which was not a given in society at that time.

Rabbi Joseph Havlin, from Chabad in the city of Frankfurt, near Worms, expressed shock at the desecration of the cemetery, noting: “We are witnessing, and not for the first time, desecration of German cemeteries alongside a disturbing rise in anti-Semitism in the entire public sphere. We call on the German government to declare an uncompromising fight against anti-Semitism to ensure that such acts do not are no longer repeated.”

In a reaction to the desecration, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association and the Rabbinical Center of Europe, condemned the ongoing rise of anti-Semitism across the continent.

“There is no doubt that the Corona crisis has brought with it a sharp rise in antisemitic discourse on the Internet, and now that most of the closures have been lifted, we unfortunately see how the toxic discourse on social media is turning into real attacks on Jewish institutions and symbols.’’

He added: ‘’We expect the German government to act swiftly not only to renovate the cemetery but to formally declare the acceptance of the comprehensive program to combat anti-Semitism that that we have initiated and prepared. These measures include a substantial changes to the curriculum in the education system.”

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