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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776
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Kiruv In Berlin?



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Though some Jews might relish the thought of flaunting the rebirth of Jews in Deutschland, perhaps we should look to a different precedent and examine the well-known cherem placed on any Jew living in Spain following the Spanish Inquisition. That famous prohibition follows a lesser-known cherem said to have been placed on the city of York, England, in response to the massacre of Jews there in 1190.

Though no cherem was placed on Germany following the Holocaust, my soul cries out against the resurrection of anything Jewish there. The Holocaust was the single biggest and cruelest atrocity committed against the Jews and it happened in many of our own lifetimes. Though my opposition to the resuscitation of Jewish life in the graveyards of Germany cannot claim any halachic authority, shouldn’t an emotional response have a measure of validity?

I am a firm advocate of kiruv and by no means support the abandonment of our Jewish brothers and sisters wherever they may be. But at what price? I know that if I had been asked to go to Berlin on a kiruv mission, I would not have been able to go through with it.

Sara Lehmann

About the Author: Sara Lehmann, a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, was formerly an editor at a major New York publishing house. For more articles please visit http://saralehmann.com.


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