Militiamen Prevent Jews from Celebrating Simchat Torah in Moscow
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Militiamen Prevent Jews from Celebrating Simchat Torah in Moscow

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The “blanket of fear” has settled over Moscow’s Jews in the wake of this year’s refusal of the authorities to allow worshipers to celebrate the High Holy Days in the Choral Synagogue or dance in Arkhipova Street, Jewish sources reported today. As on Rosh Hs-shana and Yom Kippur this year, militiamen scattered would-be Simchat Torah attendees and let traffic through, whereas in years past they had closed oft the street so the Jews could mark the start of the annual rereading of the Torah. The synagogue was filled and there was some dancing, but the attendance was small compared with the thousands on hand in past years.


The sources also reported that of the 16 Jews arrested in Moscow Sept. 10-20 after protesting at the Supreme Soviet against the new exit taxes, four remain in detention. The latest to be released is Aleksei Tummerman. It was additionally reported that activist Ilya Belau has been committed to what Moscow Jews call “the first suburban mad-house,” and that the militia has been told to send activists to insane asylums even before court rulings. In Riga, two exit visas were said to have been canceled.

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