Offenbach / Frankfurt (dpa / lhe) - After another attack against the Offenbach Rabbi Mendel Gurewitz, the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference expressed its solidarity with the clergy and praised the moral courage of witnesses to the incident on New Year's Day.
"Every attack on Jewish life, whether verbal, physical or fatal, is always a shock for the Jews living here in Germany," said Frankfurt Rabbi Avichai Apel from the board of the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference.
"What makes us happy despite this sad occasion: the citizens of Offenbach have shown moral courage and loudly put the attacker in his place."
The Offenbach rabbi was on his way home from the synagogue with his children on New Year's Day when he was insulted by a 46-year-old man with anti-Semitic slogans.
Several witnesses called the police, who temporarily arrested the man.
According to a police spokesman, an investigation was initiated against the drunk man, among other things for sedition, insult and use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations.
Gurewitz had already received anti-Semitic insults and attacks several times in the past.
Gurewitz himself called the incident a "traumatic" experience in a Facebook post.
The reaction of the neighbors and residents was overwhelming: «People intervened from every window, shouted at the aggressor, defended us, and informed the police.
Some left their homes and followed him on foot or by car.
(...) It was a sudden explosion of love and support. "
"The act in Offenbach shows that Jews cannot openly show their faith in public without worrying about their own integrity," said the Hessian anti-Semitism commissioner Uwe Becker in a statement published on Tuesday.
76 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, that is "a bad testimony to the state of our society in our country, as in Europe as a whole".
However, the people in Offenbach had shown “that they protect their Jewish neighbors and do not just let hatred of Jews happen.
This is an important sign that everyone can do something against anti-Semitism. "