Different, But Not Foreign

Talk Events News

The Träger- und Förderverein ehemalige Synagoge Obernbreit e.V. invited the devout Jew Alexander Shif to the former synagogue for a talk dedicated to the topic "Against being a stranger".

He presented his religion with the help of his biography: You become a Jew when you are born to a Jewish woman and you remain one all your life. He does not feel discriminated against by the fact that his Russian passport says "Jew" as his nationality. He lives according to the rules of the Torah (for example, kosher dietary regulations and observance of the Sabbath), but also appreciates the freedom of the Talmud to reinterpret the texts of the Torah, to adapt them to the centuries. This balancing act between the rules of the Torah and the possibility of interpretation is not only his personal problem, but also that of the Jewish communities, provided they do not live in a completely Orthodox way.

Personally, he feels safe in Germany, but sees dangers for the Jewish community in Würzburg because of the age structure of the members. There were only a few questions from the audience, as Mr. Shif had convincingly presented the characteristics of being a Jew and everyone felt that being different does not mean being a stranger. By understanding the human being in the stranger, one recognises the common ground that we are all equal (according to Daniel Barenboim in SZ of 14/15. 10. 2023).

A frightening contrast to the atmosphere inside the former synagogue was the fact that a police patrol had to be present due to the current dangerous situation.