3 Kislev 5778 21/11/2017

Charges Are Brought Against Rabbi Levi Yitzchok

Rabbi Levi Yitzchok was charged with treason and counterrevolutionary activities, offenses that carried stiff penalties and even the death penalty. Despite Rebbitzen Chana’s efforts to help her husband, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok was sentenced to five years in internal exile.

One day Rabbi Levi Yitzchok was summoned to the head of the police department, who presented him with a charge sheet. Rabbi Levi Yitzchok was accused of being a member of an underground clerical anti-Soviet organization and having committed counter-revolutionary acts. The NKVD sought to prove that he was guilty of treason, a crime that carried the death penalty. They cited as evidence his constant contact with Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, who was the father-in-law of his eldest son. Yet despite their most strenuous efforts, the NKVD was unable to force Rabbi Levi Yitzchok to admit to any of the charges brought against him.

Soon afterwards, Rebbitzen Chana was summoned to NKVD headquarters on a Monday morning. She was brought to an office where four uniformed agents were sitting around a table. The most senior of them informed her that Rabbi Levi Yitzchok had been sentenced to five years of internal exile in an Eastern Asian republic.

Rebbitzen Chana immediately burst into tears. She pleaded with the secret police to reconsider because her husband was far too frail to withstand exile to such a remote and primitive location. The agents replied that Rabbi Levi Yitzchok would be going to a better place and that he had not lost his Soviet citizenship. The only thing that he had to do was move to wherever they sent him. Rebbitzen Chana was also informed that before he was sent to his place of exile she would be allowed to see him one last time.

Rebbitzen Chana begged for mercy on behalf of her husband. His passport stated that he was over seventy [in fact, he was about sixty-two], and she pleaded that he was far too old to be sent on such a long journey. Moreover, he suffered from heart disease and a journey to an obscure Soviet republic was far too long and arduous for someone in his poor state of health. However, her pleas fell upon deaf ears. She was merely told to prepare some provisions for his journey because he had refused to eat any of the food he had been offered throughout his imprisonment.

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Featured photo
The president of Kazakhstan presents the head shliach with a document signed by the government (in 2000) denouncing the persecution of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok.
The president of Kazakhstan presents the head shliach with a document signed by the government (in 2000) denouncing the persecution of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok.
31/07/2007
Featured gallery
A Gallery  of Notable Visitors to the Chabad Center in Almaty and the Tomb of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok
A Gallery of Notable Visitors to the Chabad Center in Almaty and the Tomb of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok
20/02/2007