By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Shmuel Kot, the Head Shliach and Chief Rabbi of Estonia, was verbally attacked with anti-Semitic slurs as he was walking to shul with his children this past shabbos morning.
They were walking to the synagogue he leads in the capital city of Tallinn when a man started shouting at them, “Jews to the gas” and “heil Hitler.”
Rabbi Kot said the man said the slurs with “a burning hatred” and was at the time being stopped by a city inspector without an authority to make arrests.
Rabbi Kot said he found it symbolic that the incident happened on the Shabbos when the Torah portion of Zachor is read in a reminder about the eternal hatred towards Jews.
“I told my community about it and spoke about Zachor and the Amalek nation,” he said. In observance of Shabbos, the complaint was only filed with the police after the conclusion of Shabbos.
“Already on Sunday morning, the Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and the Chief of Police have taken a personal involvement in the case, and the man was arrested,” Rabbi Kot said.
Police and Border Guard’s Kaido Saarniit told ERR on Sunday: “We have identified the alleged assailant and initiated an investigation according to the Penal Code’s paragraph on the incitement of hatred.”
“Every person has the right to feel safe in the Republic of Estonia,” Saarniit added. “In addition to physical attacks, the police take verbal attacks, as well as the incitement of hatred, seriously.”
Rabbi Kot, who has been serving in Estonia for 18 years, says it is “a relatively calm country with almost no anti-Semitism. We have not felt anti-Semitism from local citizens,” he said.