German Rabbi: Better be a Jew in Germany than in France

February 22, 2008

This is a pretty standard report on the Jewish community in Germany by RussiaToday, an “English-language news channel to present the Russian point of view on events happening in Russia and around the globe.” The interesting part is toward the end, where Rabbi Yitzchak Ehrenberg speaks. He is the chief rabbi of the Orthodox community in Berlin and also the head of the O.R.D., the conference of Orthodox rabbis in Germany.

Rabbi Ehrenberg said that he feels safe walking the streets in Germany, and, however “perverted” that may be, it is better to be a Jew in Germany than in Belgium or in France. Yet, he “can’t say that the Germans hate us less than the French… Yes, the hate is there, but it’s hidden.”

If the Germans really hate the Jews just as much as the French, then why is it better to live in Germany? Because the hate is hidden? Well, thank you very much. From a rabbi I would have expected he’d rather live in a place where there are Jewish schools, synagogues, kosher shops and restaurants, etc. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that French synagogues don’t pay their rabbis as well as German synagogues…

One comment

  1. Berlin’s been catching up on kosher eateries etc. as far as I’ve been told. Mind you, he’s Orthodox; there’s an inclination among the elder, traditional Orthodox to accept one’s fate as given, so that might also be where Rabbi Ehrenberg is coming from. Also, anti-Semitism has become a matter of public concern in Germany whereas French laicism has lead to an over-cautiousness among political decision makers not to mix in with religious matters, so anti-Semitis disguised as pseudo-religious statements are more common in France from what I’ve been told.
    Some more reading: http://www.hagalil.com/antisemitismus/2005/01/antisemitism-2.htm

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