Two men shouted anti-Semitic abuse at a Rabbi and eight students traveling with him in Berlin early Sunday and threw an object at their van, Reuters reported. The Rabbi’s name is Yudi Tiechtel – Lubavitch Shliach in the German capital.
The two men, driving a Mercedes Benz, stopped in front of the Rabbi’s van and then reversed back towards it while shouting anti-Semitic insults, police said in a statement.
The rabbi’s son, David Tiechtel, 12, told COLlive.com in a phone conversation, “We saw a fat person trying to put our car on fire. He took a newspaper, lit it and threw it at us.”
Anti-Semitic crime has been rising in Germany, which has seen an influx of some 220,000 Jews from the former Soviet Union since 1990, after being home to a very small Jewish community in the decades after the Holocaust.
Violent right-wing crime jumped 9 percent last year, and the Interior Ministry said last month it was up significantly again in the first half of this year.
“It happens a lot,” agrees the young Tiechtel. “My father went to the police station so that these people will know we are not afraid.”
The assistant Shliach in Berlin, Rabbi Shmuel Segal added: “We believe that the police will do all that it can to find the perpetrators of this act. This incident encourages us to keep on with our Jewish activities in the city. Wherever we stumble on darkness, we fill it with light.”