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Arning, Matthias

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Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany | 15/09/2006

Rabbis ordained in Germany

For the first time since 1942, three rabbis have been ordained in Germany. "This act, well protected by security forces, cannot be regarded as a sign of a return to normality in Jewish everyday life in Germany," writes Matthias Arning, "because this would give the impression that the ordaining of rabbis in Germany is a kind of closing chapter in the country's difficult process of coming to terms with the Holocaust. This, however, is not the case: the solemn ceremony of introduction to this holy office marks the starting point in the huge task of integrating the Jewish community. Part of this task is dealing with immigration from Eastern Europe. With the fall of the Wall, the German government and the Central Council of Jews in Germany made it possible to give support to communities of people from the former Soviet Union and to strengthen their beliefs. This is why it seemed logical and appropriate to train rabbis in Germany again. This project was not undertaken as a historical-political symbolic gesture. It is the result of pragmatic considerations pertaining to religious everyday life."

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