NEW YORK (Aug. 1)
Chief Rabbi Yehuda Leib Levin of Moscow was released from Hospital Six there late Thursday after five weeks’ recovery from a serious operation, it was reported today by Rabbi Arthur Schneier of Park East Synagogue. Rabbi Schneier, after speaking with Rabbi Levin by telephone yesterday morning, said the 77-year-old patriarch quoted the doctors as saying there was “no point in maintaining me in the hospital any longer” and that he was “in need of an extended period of enforced rest and convalescence and total abstinence from all work and involvements.” The elderly Russian spiritual leader is the only rabbi for Moscow’s estimated 500,000 Jews. Speculating on a successor, especially if Rabbi Levin should not live much longer, Rabbi Schneier told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency: “This is the greatest tragedy-that there is no one to take his place.” In Kiev, he added, no replacement has been found in four years. Rabbi Schneier recently visited Russia again as president of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation here, and on June 28 recorded a “first” when he substituted for the hospitalised Rabbi Levin.