The Soviet Jews Who Risked Persecution for the Sake of Matzah https://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/religion-holidays/2016/04/the-soviet-jews-who-risked-persecution-for-the-sake-of-matzah/

Lugging suitcases or large woven bags—anything big enough to hold a carton of matzah without raising suspicion—tens of thousands made their way to underground bakeries.

April 28, 2016 | Dovid Margolin
About the author: Dovid Margolin is a senior editor at Chabad.org, where he writes on Jewish life around the world, with a particular interest in Russian Jewish history.

A man baking round handmade shmurah matzah. Anthony Pescatore/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images.

They came from all over Moscow. In the 1950s and 60s, beginning about a month before Passover each year, they’d get on an elektrichika streetcar and travel an hour or more to the Bolshevo station on the outskirts of the city, lugging suitcases or large woven bags—anything big enough to hold a carton of matzah without raising the suspicion of informers or the official enforcers of Soviet anti-Jewish oppression. Of those who came more or less surreptitiously to the Bolshevo home of Aharon Chazan, some purchased his round handmade shmurah matzah, others the square and less expensive hand-cranked “machine” kind.

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