In Contravention Of Rules, Security Officials Try To Persuade Berlin Chief Rabbi To Take Off Kippah,


NEW YORK (VINnews) — During a security check which took place last week at Berlin’s Brandenburg airport,  Berlin Chief Yehuda Teichtal was asked to remove his kippah, a request to which he vehemently refused for religious reasons, according to a Ynet report.

Security personnel tried to explain to the rabbi that it was a standard procedure and that everyone passing through security gates adheres to the instructions. Rabbi Teichtal clarified to them that, as far as he was aware, there was no such directive and he firmly declined.

Upon returning to Berlin last weekend, Rabbi Teichtal held an urgent meeting with the President of the Federal Police of Germany (Präsident Bundespolizei Deutschland) Dr. Dieter Romann. The police chief was shocked to hear about Rabbi Teichtal’s experience and explicitly told him that there is no such directive.

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“The police chief issued a directive to all federal officers in the country to cease this procedure, which was never official,” Rabbi Teichtal says, “Moreover, the president of the police confirmed this officially and also approved its publication.”

Rabbi Teichtal took off again Monday morning, and this time he wasn’t asked to remove his kippah during the security check. “You can keep your kippah on,” he was told during the inspection.

Rabbi Teichtal concluded, ‘While there’s no doubt that safety guidelines need to be followed, the directive to remove the kippah – a Jewish symbol that never leaves our heads – was never approved and holds no validity, as the president of the police himself said.”

In 2018, a Jewish person wearing a kippah was assaulted by a Syrian refugee. In response, 2,500 Berliners including politicians donned kippas of all colors and joined with Jews on a “kippah march.” Rabbi  Teichtal participated in the march, wearing his black kippah with pride as he has done since arriving in 1996. Removing or hiding the signature Jewish look, as some in the community have suggested, is anathema to him. “To hide and cover our Jewish identity is not the solution,” Teichtal insists. “We must continue to walk and live as proud Jews while simultaneously doing everything possible to combat anti-semitism.”

Source: VosIzNeias


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