Moscow Synagogue Stoned During Simchat Torah Celebration; None Arrested

For the second time during the current holiday season, a brick was thrown Friday night through a window of the Moscow Central Synagogue, according to a dispatch to the New York Herald Tribune today from David Miller, one of the newspaper’s correspondents in the Soviet capital, A similar occurrence had taken place at the synagogue on the even of Rosh Hashanah, but, at that time, services had not yet begun.

The latest desecration, which endangered Israel’s Ambassador in Moscow, Yosef Tekoah, occurred during the mass singing and dancing in the house of worship where Simehat Torah was being observed, Miller reported. The newsman was standing next to Mr, Tekoah, in a special enclosure in the synagogue set aside for the Israeli diplomatic mission, when the brick flew through the window, showering a number of persons with glass splinters. The synagogue, at the time, was crowded with thousands of Jews, Miller reported, while thousands of other Jews milled about in the street outside.

No one was injured in Friday night’s attack, according to Miller. After a brief, shocked silence, he reported, the congregation inside, as well as the many Jews packed into the street outside, continued singing and dancing. The celebration was led by Moscow’s Chief Rabbi Yehuda Leib Levin, Miller noted that it was “significant” that many of the celebrants were young people. The Synagogue is in the center of Moscow, only about a half mile from Red Square where there are always heavy concentrations of militia. Police are also usually massed in Moscow wherever many people are congregated. Miller reported no arrests or any other police action.

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