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Moscow Chief Rabbi Cables Greetings to World Hebrew Congress

August 10, 1962
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A message of greetings from Moscow Chief Rabbi Yehuda leib Levin was received today from Moscow by the World Hebrew Union congress which is taking place here, attended by about 300 delegates from 15 countries.

The message, which was in Hebrew in Latin characters, declared: “May hands be strengthened of those working for the advancement of the Hebrew language, the sacred tongue in which our great prophets envisaged the peace of the world and may our noble cause be fruitful for Torah and world peace. ” Rabbi Levin was replying to an invitation to attend the congress. Also invited to the congress were the chief rabbis of Rumania and Czechoslovakia, who did not reply.

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion said in an address to the congress that the Zionist organization was no guarantee for the prevention of assimilation and stressed that the only factors for the existence of the nation were Hebrew and the Homeland, the twin foundations of the Jewish people. If these were broken, he declared, the Diaspora would be threatened with extinction.

The use of Hebrew as a second language by every Diaspora Jew was proposed by Moshe Sharett, chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency, in his address today at the congress. Describing the proposal as entirely feasible, Mr. Sharett noted that Canada had a large French-speaking community and that several languages were spoken in Switzerland. “The Jew who cannot return presently to his homeland should at least return to the language of his cultural heritage,” he declared.

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