Russian Tanachs Combat Missionary Fakes

After hearing about the widespread distribution of a phony Russian-language Tanach by missionaries, Yad L’achim began exchanging the fakes for legitimate, brand-new Tanachs

The widespread distribution of a Russian-language “Tenach” by missionaries has forced Yad L’Achim to embark on a historic initiative: The distribution of hundreds of copies of an authentic Tenach that has been accurately translated into Russian.

Until now, the Russian-language Tenach was printed in three different volumes; Torah, Nevi’im, and Kesuvim, due to the heavy cost of printing them all in one book. However, well-funded missionaries, for whom money is no object, were able to publish an edition of the “Tenach” – including Christian teachings all conveniently in one volume.

As a result, their version, which includes phony accounts of “that man,” became the most popular on the market. Regrettably, now a few shuls in Israel and many in foreign countries have these volumes on their bookshelves, out of ignorance.

Harav Yossi Demichovski, from the Chazak Russian-language book publisher, understood the spiritual danger and decided to do something about it. “A red light went off when I saw good Jews donating Tenach texts that were in fact missionary bibles masquerading as the real thing,” he says. “I understood that if this is happening even in Israel, that means that hundreds of thousands of Russian-speaking Jews will be getting their first exposure to Tenach from something representing the views of the Russian Orthodox Church, chalilah.”

Recently, after years of hard work, Chazak published an authentic, Russian-language Tenach in a single volume, which was snapped up by Yad L’Achim. The counter-missionary organization is preparing to distribute the new edition of the Russian-language Tenach to Jews who received the fake one from missionaries, and to those living in cities that have large immigrant populations and are therefore being targeted by missionaries.

Yad L’Achim staffers and volunteers are working overtime to distribute the new Tenach, according to lists they have in their possession.

Yad L’Achim asks the broader public: If you come across Jews with fake missionary bibles in the Russian language, notify us via our hotline at 1-800-620-640, and we will contact them and offer to replace their phony text with an authentic Jewish Tenach.

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