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The article analyzes the life path of Rabbi Mordukh Krol in the background of the socio-political transformations in Soviet Ukraine (1920-1940s). For the first time, special sources are introduced into the scholarly circulation such as the Rabbi’s correspondences addressed to the Jews of Denmark, Germany, France, the USA, the USSR, Palestine, and Africa during the Holodomor. Major milestones of the Rabbi’s life are identified. He served in the Chernihiv and Melitopol Region, in Voroshylovhrad, Novoukrayinka of Odessa, and later Kirovohrad regions, in Dnipropetrovsk. Rabbi M. Krol, who was the father of many children, was forced to fight with the challenges of the time in these circumstances of the anti-religious policy of the totalitarian regime. In an effort to save his own life and his family’s lives in the famine of 1921, he had to resort to strategies of survival, which seemed incompatible with his profession. He engaged in speculation during the Holodomor and wrote plaintive letters to the authorities while in custody. Trying to avoid the “country-killer’s” pressure, the Rabbi attempted to go abroad, though unsuccessfully. On the path of survival, M. Krol, as all other Jews, was helped by such traditional traits of the Jewish community as mutual assistance and cohesion. The desire to survive during the Holodomor of 1933, and in the years after, made the Rabbi communicate with relatives, friends, and unknown people from abroad asking for help. The style of communication of the former teacher with the best spiritual education shows that M. Krol turned into a beggar. But, in his struggle for survival he hadn’t lost the meaning of his life–the compliance with religious traditions and helping others. The Rabbi, who was twice sentenced to execution, had not rejected his religious beliefs, and remained faithful to his calling.



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