The Return of the Yevsektzia

Where are the Yevsektzia today? Officially they have disappeared. Where is Judaism to be found in Russia today? It is flourishing, mushrooming, bursting at the seams. Twenty years ago, Jews wishing to visit Russia for religious reasons would conceal their true intentions with well-planned cover stories.

Contact Editor
Aliza Karp,

In the era following the Russian Revolution, an effort was made by the Communist Party to eradicate Torah and Judaism.

At the forefront of this effort was the Yevsektzia, the Jewish branch of the Communist Party, whose members displayed their loyalty to their country and their idealism by their enthusiasm, going beyond the letter of the law, to hunt down and suppress any attempt at maintaining and strengthening Judaism.

Where are the Yevsektzia today? Officially they have disappeared. Where is Judaism to be found in Russia today? It is flourishing, mushrooming, bursting at the seams. Twenty years ago, Jews wishing to visit Russia for religious reasons would conceal their true intentions with well-planned cover stories. Today, gorgeous, modern Jewish centers are sprouting in city after city for the Jews living in Russia. Meanwhile, the burial sites inside Russia of revered rabbis have been restructured, renovated and equipped with heat in the winter and central air conditioning in the summer, to accommodate the crowds of Jews that come to visit from other parts of the world.

In Russia, the Yevsektzia is just a bad memory, if that. But, in essence, the Yevsektzia has relocated and changed its name. Whether it is Communism or ?Left-Wingism?, it is one Jew scheming against his brother. The non-religious Jew attempting to silence the religious Jew. The modern religious Jew being personified by the settlers, the ones who make great personal sacrifices to live in Eretz Yisroel, despite danger and political pressure.

There was a time when the powerful Yevsektzia put fear in the hearts of religious Jews. Many rabbis fled, most withdrew from communal involvement. The minority continued their activities, facing imprisonment, torture and death.

At that time, the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe spearheaded a system of underground Yeshivot. He encouraged his followers to show no fear. He set the example. When arrested by the Yevsektzia, a gun was put the Rebbe?s head and his interrogator brazenly declared, ?Maybe this little toy will make you give us the information we want.? The Rebbe answered, ?This little toy scares people who have two gods and one world. I have One G-d and two worlds, this toy does not frighten me.?

It is interesting to note that many prominent rabbis in Russia were opposed to the Zionist movement; a movement that produced many of the leaders of the new Jewish state. The rabbis were not opposed to the settlement of Eretz Yisroel, but rather they were opposed to joining forces with atheists. It is those atheists who founded the current court system that now condemns legitimate settlement in Eretz Yisroel and convicts those who speak in favor of it.

The conviction of ten managers and broadcasters of Arutz Sheva is an instance of the modern-day Yevsektzia flexing its muscles. As its predecessor, it will fail, disintegrate and disgracefully fall from power. But in the meantime, it has to be dealt with.

It is not just Arutz Sheva that has been convicted, it is the voice of Jews who uphold the Jewish claim to Jewish land.

The five-year-long court battle has culminated with the conviction being handed down during the week when we read the first parsha of the Torah, Bereishis. The very first verse of the Torah, as explained by Rashi, establishes the Jewish claim to Eretz Yisroel. ?So that if the nations of the world will say to Israel, you are bandits?? says Rashi, ?[Israel] will say to them: the whole earth belongs to the Holy One, Blessed is He. He created it and He gave it to the one found proper in His eyes.?

Our claim to Eretz Yisroel is from the Torah alone, not from the Balfour Declaration and not from the might of our hand - our military victories. So, when the non-religious Jews looks for a religious cause to fight against, the right-wing activists, who support a strong Jewish settlement, are the perfect targets.

And what better scapegoat than the voice of Right, than the amazing people who have founded and persevered to present current news, based on truth and Torah - the voice of Arutz Sheva?

?We will make every effort to continue Arutz Sheva broadcasts,? according to the statement made by Yoel Tzur, one of the convicted, while still in the courtroom. He and the others will overcome the Yevsektzia of the Leftist court system. The values that Arutz Sheva stands by - Eretz Yisroel for Am Yisroel, according to the Torah of Yisroel - will endure.

May it be soon that the Yevsektzia disappears, allowing the settlements in Judea, Samaria and Gaza to flourish, mushroom and burst at the seams with residents and visitors, in peace and brotherhood. And, just like the many Leftist thinkers who have already realized their folly, may our misguided Left-field brethren be given the vision to see past their evil perspective.






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