CHIEF RABBI OF RUSSIA SENDS V-E DAY GREETINGS TO VETERANS OF THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR

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MOSCOW, May 9 (RIA Novosti) - Chief Rabbi of Russia Berl Lazar has extended his V-E Day greetings to the country's veterans of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

"We are on the threshold of a special anniversary-60 years since [the Soviet Union's] victory [over the Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945]," Rabbi Berl Lazar said. Unfortunately, many of the Great Patriotic War survivors are no longer with us, but the Russian nation will never forget "their invaluable contribution to the Victory." The victory over Nazism transformed the world, giving today's generations the right to life in freedom, he pointed out. Thanks to the valor and heroism of those who fought in the Great Patriotic War against the Nazi invaders, there is no threat of such an appalling war repeating itself now, he said.

This country's Jewish community will always feel profound gratitude toward the Soviet army and all the contributors to that historic victory for their gallantry and selfless heroism, Rabbi Berl Lazar assured. He wished the veterans of the Great Patriotic War good health, vigor, happiness, peace, prosperity and God's help and guidance.

Interestingly, V-E Day coincides this year with the Jewish festival of Lag ba-Omer, commemorating the Israelites' victory over the Romans in the middle of the 2nd century and symbolizing the force of unity, friendship and mutual respect, Russia's Chief Rabbi remarked.

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