In an interview with CNN about a week ago, Rav Bleich, the Rav of Kyiv, described the worst thing he witnessed when he was living in Kyiv when it was still part of the former Soviet Union.
The interviewer asked Rav Bleich about how he feels about how twisted it is that Russian President Vladimir Putin is brainwashing Russians that he is liberalizing Ukraine from the “Nazis.”
Rav Bleich agreed, elaborating that Putin maintains total control over the media in his quest to hide the truth. He then described how he arrived in Kyiv as a young man when it was still the former Soviet Union and lived there for two full years with his wife and baby prior to the Iron Curtain falling.
Rav Bleich said that the most frightening thing he saw in the Soviet Union was not that people were afraid to say things but that they were afraid to think. “Because when you think, then you start talking. For me, as a 25-year-old who grew up in America, this was the most frightening thing I experienced. I saw that people were afraid to think.”
“We take for granted the freedoms that we have, such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but when you see a society like that you should start to value the freedoms you have.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)