Moscow Chief Rabbi Complains of Israeli ‘aggression’

An exchange of letters between the Chief Rabbi of Moscow, Yehuda Leib Levin, and Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Nissim of Israel in which Rabbi Levin repeated Soviet charges of aggression against Israel in the June crisis and war, was published here today. Rabbi Levin quoted the Soviet press on such accusations.

In his letter, Rabbi Levin, apparently acting under Soviet pressures, wrote Rabbi Nissim that he had asked Ambassador Katriel Katz to bar Israel diplomats in the Soviet Union from “spreading anti-Soviet literature.” in synagogues and thus breaking Soviet laws. This was not the first time that Rabbi Levin approached Israeli envoys in Moscow on such issues but it was believed that this was the most vehement of his interventions.

Rabbi Nissim, in his reply, said the Soviet charges were a defamation. He urged Rabbi Levin, as well as all Russian Jews to join in Israel’s “great joy” at the fulfilment of prophecies which followed the six-day June war, an apparent reference to the reunification of New and Old Jerusalem which made the Western wall in the old city available to Jews for the first time in decades.

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