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Soviet Jews Get Shabbat Dispensation

Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi, Mordechai Eliahu, has given Jews leaving the Soviet Union for Israel dispensation to travel on the Sabbath.

In issuing his edict Sunday, the chief rabbi invoked the principle of “pikuach nefesh,” the saving of lives, which overrides the religious ban on travel on the Sabbath and other Jewish holy days.

Eliahu expressed concern for the safety of Jews in the Soviet Union, in the wake of reports about rising popular anti-Semitism.