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Ukraine - Customs Destroys Jewish Prayer Books, Bibles Sent from Russia

Published on: September 1, 2008 08:42 PM
By: Haaretz
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Ukraine - The Jewish community is in an uproar on the country’s customs service for destroying 173 Jewish prayer books and bibles that had been sent from Russia for the use of the Jewish community in Sumy.

A Russian courier had brought the religious books to the Ukrainian border, but discovered that he lacked enough money to pay customs. The books were therefore left at the Sumy customs office until the duty was paid.

Later, however, the courier informed the office that he was abandoning the books. The customs service tried to sell them, but managed to sell only one. At that point, the service’s executive committee decided to give the books to the Ukrainian Jewish community.
However, for reasons that remain unclear, someone in the Sumy customs office decided instead to destroy them.

Rabbi Yechiel Levitansky, the rabbi of the Sumy Jewish community, denounced the decision, saying his congregation needed the shipment badly, because it currently did not have enough prayer books to go around.

“On Shabbat, around 40 people come to the synagogue to pray,” he said. “And because there are not enough prayer books, the worshipers must share. We waited a long time to receive the books - prayer books are generally printed in Moscow - and now we’ll have to wait again until we get new books.”


Ukrainian prosecutors who began investigating the matter, confirmed that the books were indeed destroyed by the Sumy customs office.


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Read Comments (9)  —  Post Yours »


 Sep 01, 2008 at 10:40 PM its me Says:

anti semites


 Sep 01, 2008 at 11:57 PM Skeptical Says:

. . . that, and/or insubordinate bungling idiots. Let's see how the prosecutors follow through with their investigation.


 Sep 02, 2008 at 12:03 AM shneur z Says:

why didn't they pay the customs?


 Sep 02, 2008 at 12:37 AM Chaim Says:

"customs" = bribes


 Sep 02, 2008 at 07:39 AM Pupener Says:

Its an old trick to leave stuff for customs, not pay, and let customs dispose it, so not to pay taxes.


 Sep 02, 2008 at 08:42 AM Yankel Says:

Instead of your silly comments, Why don't you put toghether a few dollars before Rosh Hashanah and send them the siddurim with Russian translation.
Also PRE PAY the duty or Customs!
Now there is a Mitzvah for you.
P.S. Chabad has a full line of Translated seforim in Russian.


 Sep 02, 2008 at 10:37 AM JBC Says:

The fire of anti-semitism has not nor will it ever cool off in Europe, and especially in the Ukraine. Many survivors will tell u that ther were even worse than the nazis. It took nearly a half a century for them to even reluctantly consider a monument to those murdered at Babi Yaar. This story does not surprise me.

"For these I cry.." (Eicha)


 Sep 02, 2008 at 01:40 PM Lets doit Says:




 Sep 02, 2008 at 04:47 PM Anonymous Says:

there are thousands of breslov chassidim going to ukraine for yomtov that can bring them to kiev for free, just contact any breslover shul


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