(April 4, 2019 / JNS) Germany’s military will consist of rabbis for the first time in nearly a century, making its pastoral services available for the some 300 Jews serving in the Bundeswehr.
The country’s Jewish Council will initially offer a low single-digit number of candidates for consideration with those selected possibly serving in missions outside Germany, said the German Defense Ministry on Tuesday.
“This is an important signal at a time when anti-Semitism, religious polarization and narrow-mindedness are on the march in many places,” said Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen in a statement.
“It is a great development that today a rabbi will be installed for the military in Germany,” Yehuda Teichtal, rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin, told JNS. “This will enable Jewish servicemen and servicewomen to have a place to turn for their Jewish needs and for counseling.”
“It will surely have a positive effect not only on Jewish people, but on the entire military as well,” he added.