Russian rabbi threatened with expulsion

A Russian Jewish group said it was perplexed with the recent accusations against the rabbi of the Jewish community of Sochi, a coastal resort on the Black Sea.

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR), a Chabad-affiliated group, said Rabbi Ari Edelkopf. Had been placed under threat of deportation.

Edelkopf has been informed that he faces an accusation according to subparagraph 1, point 1, article 7 of the law on Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in Russia (calls for violent changes of the constitutional order in Russia, committing other actions threatening Russia’s security or its citizens).

“We are surprised with such accusations addressed to a rabbi. Historically, Jews and especially rabbis stick to a principle “dina de-malkhuta dina,” which means that “the law of the land is the law”, which suggests entire law-obedience,” FJCR President Alexander Boroda told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.

According to Boroda, it is also perplexing that the essence of claims against Rabbi Edelkopf has not been voiced.

“I don’t think it is a manifestation of antisemitism. Most likely, a local official decided to “tick the box” in a coming report on opposing illegal migration,” Boroda said.

“We will respect any decision of the court taken in compliance with the law,” Boroda added.

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