Global, Identity, Justice, Religion

Arrested in Russia, like our ancestors before us.

My family’s way of saying “things could always be worse” was saying, “We could always be in Russia.” Last week, one of our friends, 17 years old, stayed over on his way to learn in yeshiva in Russia. He was bubbly and excited. It was his first time in the country his family had come from, and everything about it thrilled him — a new country, a new culture, the prospect of talking to people who’d never spoken to a real Orthodox Jew before.
Last Thursday, Russian police shut the yeshiva down. They rounded up everyone in the building, confiscated their belongings and cell phones, and threw them in prison. While they were allegedly making arrangements to send the kids to Israel, according to Shmais:

The 13 Bochurim were held over Shabbos is a cell 8×15 [feet, I think] that is meant for 4 people! There were two wooden slabs in the cell and a hole in the floor that was meant to be a bathroom. When the Bochurim finally got food at 2:00am on Shabbos morning most of them were so nauseous from the conditions that they couldn’t even eat!

UPDATE: Ok! According to the family, they just landed in Israel. But, damn, whatever happened to the Russians liking Jews again? Was this a glitch in official documentation? Cause putting underage Americans in a jail cell for a 24-hour period doesn’t sound like a diplomatic glitch to me…..then again, Russian bureaucracy inspired more than one Communist manifesto.

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