Kosher food goes mainstream at Berlin supermarket

October 28, 2011

Bettina Bocca, an employee of Nah und Gut ("Near and Good") supermarket in Berlin's Wilmersdorf district, sorts kosher cheese at the kosher food department of the store October 13, 2011. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)

When shoppers in New York, London or Paris come across kosher food in their neighbourhood supermarkets, it’s just one speciality product among many. When the same thing happens in Berlin, it’s a statement.

Berlin’s Jewish community, decimated by the Holocaust, has been steadily growing since Germany reunited in 1990. Thousands of Jews have moved in, synagogues, schools and shops have opened and some young rabbis have been trained and ordained. But presence isn’t the same as acceptance. In a city weighed down by memories of its Nazi past, even small signs that Jews are a part of normal daily life again take on deeper meaning.

One such sign appeared last month when a local supermarket began selling kosher food. Stocked on shelves and in freezers next to other German and imported goods, the food prepared according to ancient Jewish dietary laws is presented like any other product.

Yehuda Teichtal, a Brooklyn-born Hasidic rabbi who advised the Nah und Gut (“Near and Good”) supermarket on its selections, is thrilled to see this in Berlin. “This was the centre of darkness and evil, where the Nazis planned the extermination of Europe’s Jews, and now you can go into a normal supermarket and there’s a sign that says kosher,” he said.

“The Nazis failed. Where do you find Hitler and Eichmann now — on Wikipedia. Where do you see Jewish life in an open way — on the streets of Berlin!”

Read the full story here.

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4 comments

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Hey AUTHOR: look up the word decimate. To decimate is to kill 1 in 10. I think Berlins Jews were a bit mnore than decimated. WTF? You are a wordsmith and you can’t use the word decimate correctly? DECI or ten come on you know that.
HEY EDITOR: WTF you can’t do your job?
HEY PUBLISHER: fire both these retards!

Posted by AlanSmithee10 | Report as abusive

Words in modern usage don’t always mean exactly what the original root implies. The first meaning in Dictionary.com “is to destroy a great number or proportion of.”

The question is not whether the Nazis failed. The did, of course. That’s old news. The real question is why did the Nazis rise? To answer that, we must look at ourselves in the mirror.

Posted by SeaWa | Report as abusive

I agree Tom Heneghan. Words are seldom pure in the meaning or usage. It is a big problem here in the US where people don’t even know the original meanings of words they quote from scripture a lot, and they abuse the misplaced meanings. As a Christian Leftist, I get on people’s cases all the time about that!

Posted by E.Tenderstone | Report as abusive