Jews and Christians in a living dialogue

Bernd Göller (left) is the initiator of the Heinsheim Bible Study Week, Dr. Michael Rosenkranz is this year’s speaker. Photo: Ulrike Plapp-Schirmer Photo: Plapp-Schirmer, Ulrike

The Bible Study Week of the Evangelical Church in Württemberg has a 50-year tradition. It arose from the Denkendorf circle as the seed for a regular encounter with Jewish science, “and a willingness and willingness to talk on an equal footing,” says Bernd Göller, a friend of the former synagogue in Heinsheim.

A series of events brought from Württemberg

As a former Protestant pastor, he introduced this practice to the Baden part of the country in 2016. The first edition was devoted to Moses as a liberator, lawgiver and man and took place in the synagogue that was being rebuilt at that time. “It was 35 degrees outside, it was dusty and the windows couldn’t be opened,” recalls Bernd Göller. But for those who were there, it didn’t matter. This time, about 50 percent of them also took part in the discussion. of them.

And so the event with 25 participants was quickly booked. The speaker of this year’s science week was dr. Michael Rosencrantz. Four evenings with him were entitled “Creator, Creation, and Environment: The Importance of the Writings of the Torah in the Ecological Crisis.” Rosencrantz gave impulses with spiritual texts.

Michael Rosenkranz as the guardian of dialogue

In the Jewish community of Bochum-Herne-Hattingen, Michael Rosenkranz is responsible for interreligious dialogue. As a seminar leader, he gives lectures once a month at the Lehrhaus für Torah-Studien in Essen.

Until now, he had known Kraichgau only by name, only now did he get to know the “inspiring landscape”. “And I’m surprised how beautiful it is here,” he said of the experience, “how much evidence there is for a Jewish life that is nurtured and nurtured.” This is not something to be taken for granted, emphasizes Rosenkranz, who is also impressed by what a group of friends have made of the former Heinsheim synagogue over the years.

The city needs such places, places of culture, meetings and dialogue

According to Rosencrantz, the purpose of the Torah is “to imagine a way of life in which we can live together in peace.” It sees the Torah as an educational book, not a book of vengeance and laws, as Christians often see the Old Testament as opposed to the New as a book of love: “If I can communicate this, it is an important concern for me,” continues Michael Rosary.

Synagogue as a place of study

The synagogue was once a place where learning was in good hands. In 2016, Bernd Göller quoted Evangelical pastor Michael Volkmann, who had long been in charge of the series, saying that Jewish teachers are needed for us to experience Jewish learning as a spiritual event.

And even if there is no longer an active Jewish community in Heinsheim, the former synagogue has once again become a place of study. “I am impressed with the intellectual work that is taking place here,” said Michael Rosenkranz.

Born in Stuttgart in Gelsenkirchen, he has been writing articles for the Jewish Life in Kraichgau association since 2009. Bernd Göller emphasizes that the theme of Bible Week, as defined by the regional church of Württemberg, is topical in the context of climate change. It is about showing a shared responsibility: “And these ancient texts suddenly begin to speak.” Today, however, it is clear that man does not fulfill the task that God has entrusted to him fairly.


The Torah (also the Torah) is a Hebrew Bible that consists of the five books of Moses. A Torah scroll is read in Jewish services. In German Christian translations, these five books of Moses – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy – form the first part of the Old Testament. The Torah begins with the story of creation and ends with Moses enlisting to obey the laws. This book repeats the Ten Commandments, which are also important to Christians.

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