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September 1, 2015 / 17 Elul, 5775
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Kiruv In Berlin?


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.

About the Author: Sara Lehmann, a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, was formerly an editor at a major New York publishing house.


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One Response to “Kiruv In Berlin?”

  1. Douglas Kent says:

    This isn't news. I remember listening to a speaker,Rabbi Moshe Dick who had come back from Berlin in 2000 and he told us much the same. Where I differ from the author is the assertion that these people should move to Israel. Germany is a blood drenched country. No doubt. But no matter how much you don't like to hear it,it is safer than Israel.Just read this very paper and Arutz 7.It is Israel's fault. When you release murderers your life is worthless in that country.Another thing not mentioned is that many Jews in Berlin are Israelis.

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