NEW YORK (Oct. 17)
The Central Synagogue of Moscow, which for years has been open for services seven days a week, may be closed weekdays on orders of Soviet authorities, according to a report here today in The Day-Jewish Journal, a Yiddish daily.
The official Kremlin excuse for the passible order to shut the house of worship on weekdays, according to the report, is that the partial closure “will prevent the illegal trade in religious articles. ” Government officials have charged openly in recent months that the synagogue is a center for alleged “black market traffic” in Hebrew ritual prayer shawls, phylacteries and prayer books which, presumably, are donated to the congregants by foreign visitors.
At the same time, it was reported today that Naum S. Paller, president of the Central Synagogue, informed his congregation during the recent High Holiday services that the Government had been requested for permission to have new prayer shawls woven for the Jews who lack the taleithim. Mr. Paller was quoted as saying that he had hired a weaver, who is a non-Jew, to make the taleithim, and that he hoped permission for a start on the manufacture might be received soon.