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Soviet Embassy Says New Hebrew Prayer Book Has Been Published in Moscow

April 24, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Soviet Embassy’s Information Department announced today that a new Hebrew prayer book has been published in Moscow where the first copies have been delivered to the Choral Synagogue. According to the report by Novosti, the official Soviet propaganda agency disseminating news abroad, the new prayer book was edited by Chief Rabbi Yehuda Leib Levin, of Moscow and was “published in an edition of 10,000” copies.

The Novosti report, by Samuel Rozin, described the prayer book as having been “printed on high quality paper by the best printing shop in Moscow” and said it would soon go on sale. The book contains about 300 pages in which “the Hebrew alphabet is given in printed and written letters at the beginning… followed by a section on early morning prayers to be recited on wakening,” the Novosti report said. “After this come morning prayers. There are also special prayers for Saturdays, big autumn holidays, Passover and other religious holidays.”

The Novosti writer said he had asked Rabbi Levin to explain the differences between the new prayer book and one issued several years ago. The rabbi was quoted as saying: “At the request of the community we have included a number of additional prayers…It is somewhat smaller than the former one, making it much more convenient to hold during prayers (and) our new prayer book is better put together. I am sure the people will be very pleased with it.”

The attention given the new prayer book by the Soviet propaganda agency was apparently intended to refute reports over the years that Soviet Jews suffer from a severe shortage of religious supplies. Such reports have been brought back by American and other foreign visitors to Russian synagogues.

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