Moscow, November 29, Interfax - Boruch Gorin, a spokesman for the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR), is concerned about the statement made by investigator Marina Molodtsova and Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov) at a scientific conference in Moscow dealing with the authenticity of the remains of the family of the last Russian Emperor, Nicholas II, that their deaths could have been the result of "ritual murder."
"All of this looks like absolute savagery to us for a number of reasons. This shocks us as a Jewish community above all not only because of the absurdity of such surmises," Gorin said in an interview with Interfax-Religion.
"Myths about the existence of ritual murder have connections to very different cults and religions," but when the matter concerns Russia's history, the history of the imperial family's last days, and the "Beilis case," which was tried several years before, this looks like "an absolutely Judaeophobic myth, which was used as part of anti-Semitic propaganda for several decades," and this is precisely why Jews treat it with great concern, he said.
"In our view, this is absolutely obviously absurd, because the murderers were utter atheists, people who rejected any faith in any forces except in what they do "with their own hands,'" Gorin said.
"Seeing some conspiracy theory or rituals of unknown cults instead of absolutely obvious revolutionary Bolshevik terror behind this looks like absolutely medieval obscurantism, which wouldn't be worth any attention if not for the trail of very tragic events that follows these accusations," he said.
Formally speaking, a ritual murder is a murder committed for religious purposes as a ritual of this or that cult or a religious association or sect, Gorin said. "But it's mostly Jews who later fell victim to this horrible myth: this concerns tall tales of children murdered by Jews in very different places, from England to Turkey, in order to extract blood from them for matzo," Gorin said.
"In the Middle Ages, when witches were executed by burning merely for the color of their eyes or hair, this surely didn't seem savage, but the Beilis case in the 20th century cast a horrible shadow on Russia as a country, because this was the last openly made ritual-murder accusation," he said.
"But hearing the phrase 'ritual murder' a hundred years later from an investigator of the Investigative Committee and then from high-ranking hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church is certainly absolutely frightful," Gorin said.
When someone said that the killing of the imperial family was a ritual murder, "honest people making such accusations did not hide what they meant: Yurovsky, a Jew, acting on instructions from another Jew, Sverdlov, performed a Kabbalistic rite in the presence of eight other people, because this takes ten people," he said.
"Even the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia did not conceal the anti-Semitic nature of this allegation. Now officials do not specify that this concerns Yurovsky's ethnic background, but it's clear to any educated person who knows the history of this allegation what is meant," Gorin said.
Speaking at the conference on Monday, Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov), the secretary of the church commission dealing with the "Yekaterinburg remains," said numerous commission members were convinced that the execution of the Romanov family was a ritual murder.
."We take the ritual murder theory most seriously. The greater part of the commission has no doubt that this murder was a ritual one," Bishop Tikhon said at a conference on the remains in Moscow on Monday.
However, "this should be substantiated and proven," he said.
Earlier on Monday, Marina Molodtsova, a senior investigator with the Investigative Committee, said in her speech at the conference that the committee "is planning to schedule a psychological and historical evaluation to determine whether the Romanov family murder had a possible ritual component, among others."
Alexander Boroda, the chairman of the Russian Federation of Jewish Communities, said in this regard that "Judaism, the first religion to abolish human sacrifice at the very dawn of its emergence, essentially does not know the concept of a 'ritual murder.'"