Chief Rabbi explains why he advocated for the ban on UOC in the US

03 December 2023 13:31
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Chief Rabbi of Kyiv and Ukraine Yaakov Dov Bleich. Photo: screenshot from the Voice of America YouTube channel Chief Rabbi of Kyiv and Ukraine Yaakov Dov Bleich. Photo: screenshot from the Voice of America YouTube channel

In an interview with Voice of America, Yaakov Dov Bleich said that the law banning the UOC "makes sense."

In an interview with Voice of America, Yaakov Dov Bleich, the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine, explained why he promoted Bill 8371 banning the UOC during meetings with US officials, a bill that was passed in the first reading by the Rada.

The rabbi stated that those who question this bill do not understand the realities of life in Ukraine, while he does.

"I am not defending the law; I am explaining the bill so that people understand its importance for Ukraine, a country at war," said Rabbi Dov Bleich.

At the same time, he hopes that this bill will not affect the UOC because it "will find a way to ensure that this law does not affect it."

According to the rabbi, he conveyed to Americans that "defending the freedoms of individuals and organizations while simultaneously defending the country from an aggressor" is challenging.

The rabbi claimed that he supported this bill "for a reason" and that it "makes sense."

"The head of the parliament discussed with the AUCCRO the need for the law. This law was carefully studied by religious organizations. None of them, including the UOC MP, came out and said during the meeting that this is bad, we don't want this, that we disagree," assured Yaakov Dov Bleich.

Recall that during a meeting between the AUCCRO and Ruslan Stefanchuk on April 11, 2023, Archbishop Victor of Khmelnytskyi not only did not remain silent, as the rabbi now claims, but sharply criticized Bill 8371 and other anti-church initiatives registered in the parliament.

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