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Soviet Overrules Rabbi’s Decision That Stage Marriage is Legal

June 11, 1924
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The “Emess,” the Yiddish Communist daily of Moscow, reports an incident in the Russian town of Podovrianke, which recalls a similar incident in Israel Zangwill’s “Children of the Ghetto.”

A local Yiddish amateur troupe, it reports, produced there a play called “Forced Marriage,” in which the hero wedded the heroine according to Jewish law.

The Rabbi of the town hearing of this, proclaimed in the synagogue that in the eyes of Jewish law the two were husband and wife, and that a divorce would be necessary if they would not agree to live together.

For a week the whole town was in a turmoil. The girl was ashamed to go out on the street.

“Who knows,” writes the “Emess,” “what might have happened, were it not for the Town Soviet, which stepped in and annulled the Rabbi’s decision.

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