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Letter by R. Yehuda Leib Levin, chief rabbi of Moscow, Moscow 1963

כתב מה"ר יהודא לייב לוין, אב"ד מוסקבה

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  • Lot Number 53579
  • Title (English) Letter by R. Yehuda Leib Levin, chief rabbi of Moscow
  • Title (Hebrew) כתב מה"ר יהודא לייב לוין, אב"ד מוסקבה
  • Note Manuscript
  • City Moscow
  • Publication Date 1963
  • Estimated Price - Low 200
  • Estimated Price - High 500

  • Item # 2423393
  • End Date
  • Start Date

Physical Description

[1] p., 207:154 mm., light age staining, tears, typed on stationary, signed and dated.


Detail Description

R. Yehuda Leib Levin, chief rabbi of Moscow (1894–1971), rabbi. Born in Nikopol’, Ekaterinoslav province, Yehudah Leib Levin studied at the Slobodka yeshiva and then in a Jewish teachers’ seminary in Ekaterinoslav. He taught Jewish studies in Ekaterinoslav until 1923, when he was invited to take up the post of rabbi in Grishino (Krasnoarmeiskoe). He remained in that city until the German invasion of the Soviet Union, subsequently evacuating to Uzbekistan and then returning to Krasnoarmeiskoe in late 1944.

In 1946 and 1947, and then from 1948 to 1953, Levin served as rabbi in Dnipropetrovs’k. He then returned once again to Krasnoarmeiskoe, fulfilling a variety of functions for different Jewish communities (mostly in Georgia and Uzbekistan), notably as a scribe of religious texts. In 1956, R. Solomon Shlifer brought him to Moscow to serve as administrative head of the new Kol Ya‘akov Yeshiva, which was about to open. After Shlifer’s death in 1957, Levin succeeded him as rabbi of the Moscow Choral Synagogue (a post he retained until his death), as president of the Jewish community (until 1960), and as rector of Kol Ya‘akov, where he also taught.

In many ways Levin followed Shlifer’s footsteps. He retained the tradition of Jewish studies in the Choral Synagogue, persisted in encouraging the training of shoḥetim (ritual slaughterers) and mohelim (ritual circumcisers), and sought annually to publish a Jewish calendar. Like Shlifer, he received foreign delegations and individual guests; like all religious functionaries, he was obliged to report regularly on his conversations with foreigners to the government Council for the Affairs of Religious Cults. Levin participated in Shomre ha-gaḥelet (Glowing Embers; 1966), an anthology of ritual responsa and Jewish theological thought of Soviet and East European rabbis edited by Tsevi Harkavy and Avraham Sha’uli. He also contributed to Sefer Yekaterinoslav-Dnepropetrovsk (1972) and to the Romanian Jewish journal Revista cultului mozaic, and in 1967 sent a responsum to the rabbinical journal Hamaor.