Riga (Jan. 31)
The five rabbis who were arrested by the Soviet authorities in Nevel, near Mohilev, last month on charges of maintaining a secret Yeshiva, have now been told what their offense was, a despatch from Moscow relates.
The act of accusation charges them with being counter-revolutionists, plotting against the Soviet government and instigating the population and instructing minors in religion. Their trial is to be held soon in Welikie-Luki, where they are held in prison.
The five rabbis, Rabbi Samuel Levitin, Rabbi Zevi Astronover, Rabbi Elijah Voltsholnik, Rabbi Salman Ussishkin and Rabbi Elchanan Maharak, were arrested after the Soviet authorities closed the leading Yeshiva in Soviet Russia at Nevel, established after the war with the aid of American Jews by Rabbi Jacob Joseph Schneursohn known as the Lubawitscher Rebbe. The Soviet authorities confiscated three synagogue buildings in the town on the suspicion that the Yeshiva was being conducted illegally in those buildings. One hundred Yeshiva-bocherim (Talmud students) were expelled from the town when the rabbis were arrested.