CHIEF RABBI: Jews Asking Shailos About Removing Mezuzahs and Hiding Kippah

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt in Munich, May 30, 2022. (Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images)

(VINnews) — Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt says that Jews in Europe are so frightened about antisemitism, they are considering removing mezuzahs and hiding their kippahs.

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In an interview with the Guardian, Rabbi Goldschmidt, the former Chief Rabbi of Moscow and President of the Conference of European Rabbis, says that since October 7th, Jewish communities across Europe have been struggling with a wave of hate speech, harassment, and threats.

Some Jews have asked Rabbis halachic questions about whether it is permitted to remove Jewish symbols for their safety.

Rabbi Goldschmidt said that “many Jews are trying to hide their Jewishness”. “One of the most asked questions to the rabbis since October 7 is if you can take off the mezuzah [a religious parchment in a case] off your door,” he said, adding: “This says a lot.”

He added that, “Other precautions that some people took included wearing hats instead of the traditional yarmulkah (skullcap) on the street, and avoiding speaking Hebrew when riding in Ubers. There used to be a red line between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. We have seen this red line disappear. I think that ultimately this is not a problem for the Jewish community. Ultimately, this is a big problem for Europe at large. This situation in the streets is destabilizing our society.”

Rabbi Goldschmidt is the exiled chief rabbi of Moscow who left Russia after refusing to back Putin’s invasion of Ukraine


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