In a rare and unusual gesture, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday arrived on a personal visit to the home of the Chief Rabbi of Berlin, Rabbi Yehudah Teichtal, a week after he was attacked by anti-Semites as he walked home from the synagogue.
Since word was made public of the incident, during which two men speaking Arabic cursed and spit at the rabbi and his son, he has received numerous phone calls from senior public figures from across the political spectrum in Germany seeking to strengthen him and condemn anti-Semitism.
At the start of his special visit, the German President said, "I have come here to say that there is no place for anti-Semitism in Germany. I am here to declare this as well as to visit a friend."
The German President said he had returned from a visit outside the country and it was important to him to come to the rabbi's house.
"The method of our leader, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, is to turn darkness into light," Rabbi Teichtal told the German President, proposing that he adopt the Rebbe's decision on a "moment of silence" in the country's schools.
During the visit, the President asked to hear about the Jewish activities in the German capital. The President listened intently to the inspirational messages and, at the conclusion of the meeting, Rabbi Teichtal gave him a US dollar bill that was blessed by the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
"The President was very moved," Rabbi Teichtal said.