In The Media
100 Russian Jewish Refugees Publicly Celebrate Ritual Of Circumcision
- Jewish Press

Friday, January 2, 1976

"Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe", an Agency composed of Soviet Jewish Refugees, dedicated to helping their brethren with their material and spiritual needs in the United States, celebrated a most unusual and public demonstration of the Soviet Jew's love and commitment to his Faith.

Denied their right to the religious ritual of Circumcision on the 8th day after birth, these Jews, born and raised in Russia, never forgot the fact that they were not duly circumcised and did not fulfill the Precept as per Genesis, Chapter 17, verses 9and 10, as it is written: "And G-d said unto Abraham: And thou shall keep my covenant, thou and thy seed after thee for their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep between me and between you, and between thy seed after thee; circumcised shall be among you every male."

Circumcision on the 8th day of life is not a physically painful experience; however, circumcision for teenagers and adults requires personal courage, commitment and sacrifice.

During the past three months, 100 recently arrived Soviet Jewish refugees, aided by "Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe" underwent the ritual of circumcision at the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital conducted by Rev. Eliyahu Shain (Mohel) and supervised and aided by Dr. Pagovich.

Having fulfilled their lifelong yearning for "Brith Millah", the Covenant between man and G-d, these Soviet Jews were honored and feted at a public ceremony attended by hundreds of guests, families and friends, and given their Certificate of Brith Millah Circumcision).

This public display of faith and commitment proves again the Soviet Jew's yearning for his Faith, and his willingness to sacrifice for what he believes in.

One hundred men, who are now proud to have fulfilled this significant Jewish religious requirement, publicly accepted their certificates, and several teenagers and adults spoke in Russian and English, describing what this accomplishment has meant to them.

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