Written by: Rabbi Boruch Gorin
Translated by: Rabbi Michoel Oishie
The pictures were taken by Peter Tyorlin in Moscow’s Great Synagogue, 1987.
The Jew in the picture is R’ Avrohom Miller OBM. A renowned figure in Moscow’s Jewish community those days. An older Jew, a student of the Chofetz Chaim, who spent two lengthy terms in jail. He was both proficient in Russian, and very knowledgeable in Talmud, and was able to give a Gemara Shiur in fluent Russian, thus educating a new generation of knowledgeable Jews.
I was told that was once called ‘there’ and they gave him a stern warning that he can no longer teach Gemara in Russian, but only in Yiddish, and if he defies these orders, “we will send you far far away…” and he agreed to comply.
The next Shiur he began in Yiddish, but the youngsters didn’t understand the new rule, and they asked questions in Russian, and quickly he reverted to teaching the class in Russian…
Shortly thereafter he was called again ‘there,’ and they told him “We have a deal!” so he responded:
“I thought to myself: where would they send me to already? Further than Malachovka it won’t be, and I am on my way there soon…”
And they never called him again.
(Malachovka has a Jewish cemetery)