The president of the Conference of European Rabbis and chief rabbi of Moscow, Pinchas Goldschmidt has the unenviable task of dealing with the Jewish community on a continent in crisis.
First, there is the danger posed by secular forces who want to ban religious rituals like traditional kosher slaughter.
Then there is the rise of populist and nationalist forces. As Goldschmidt says, “Jews always felt more comfortable in places where other cultures and religions were respected. At the moment when an ultra-nationalist wind begins to blow, it makes Jews, as a minority, uncomfortable.”
Finally, there is the ever-growing threat of radical Islam, which the rabbi hopes can be combated by religious understanding. “We are the last ones to say it is not a problem,” he states. “But what we are saying is that you don’t counter and fight Islamic terrorism by fighting Islam. It’s extremely important to mark a red line between normative Islam and radicalism and terrorism using the name of Islam.” (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.)