Vladimir Putin's meeting with Russia's Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar in 2015. Credit: Kremlin
After having built a splendorous Jewish community in Russia over the last thirty years, Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar on Wednesday called on Moscow to denounce a top official’s “vulgar” anti-Semitism, saying it posed a “huge danger” to the Jewish community in the country.
The call to condemn Alexei Pavlov, assistant secretary of Russia’s Security Council, came in response to an article (Russian) he wrote claiming that “neo-pagan cults,” including the Chabad movement, had taken over Ukraine.
Pavlov added that Chabad’s guiding principle was to enshrine its superiority “above all nations and peoples,” and therefore it had become “increasingly urgent to carry out the de-satanization of Ukraine.”
In a letter shared with Haaretz, Lazar, leader of Chabad in Russia, “demand[ed] condemnation from the government for the nonsense” written by Pavlov, which was “an insult to millions of Jewish believers, including the vast majority of Jews in Russia.”
Such a statement, “uttered by a member of the Russian Security Council…poses a huge danger; therefore, we demand an immediate and unequivocal response from society and the authorities of the state,” Lazar added, according to the report.