24 April 2007, 13:27
Yeltsin gave Russia real religious freedom - Russia’s Chief Rabbi
Moscow, April 24, Interfax - The Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar of Russia presented his condolences to the widow and daughters of the first Russian president Boris Yeltsin who died on Monday.
‘Your husband and father has won a special place in the memory of Russian people of all faith and ethnicities as the first president of the independent and free Russia and as a man who laid the foundations of the civil society in our country,’ the rabbi said.
According to Lazar, ‘millions of Russians who have got a chance to make their own decisions, to create freely, to run business, to purchase property, to see a broader world will always be grateful to Boris Yeltsin.’
‘Talmud says that the righteous never die since their deed go on. It fully applies to Boris Yeltsin. Today when we observe what our country has achieved during the period after the fall of the Communist regime, we can see the results of what your husband and father did and acknowledge his service done to all Russia,’ he said.
The Russian Jewish community ‘is and will be especially grateful to Boris Yeltsin,’ the rabbi added.
‘We will never forget how determinedly he struggled to preserve Russia historically unique as a united multiethnic and multiconfessional state as well as how he gave Russia real religious freedom,’ he said.
According to Lazar, Boris Yeltsin as politician and a public leader has ever strongly opposed chauvinism and anti-Semitism, an ‘in was not by chance that during his presidency in Russia in dozens of cities Jewish communities were established and first Jewish schools and kindergartens were opened.’
‘Our wisemen say that the man is not dead until his offspring live. When it comes to a state figure who led a great nation and preserved its integrity through the years of hard troubles, that nation’s all citizens may in a way count themselves as his offspring,’ he noted.