Folktales of the Jews - Vol. 2

By Dan Ben-Amos | Go to book overview

71
Communism and Religion

TOLD BY MORDECAI HILLEL KROSHNITZ
TO AYELET OETTINGER

Stalin wanted to reform religion. What does that mean, "to reform religion"? He wanted the religions to start teaching that Communism had not begun just now, with the Revolution, but that the Bible, too, preaches communism and there has always been Communism.

So he summons the head of the Orthodox Church, which was the most important in Russia. That was their religion. He asks him, he tells the head priest, the patriarch, "You have to reform religion, to teach anyone who studies in the church and comes to you that Communism began long ago and that the Bible preaches Communism."

"I cannot do that," says the patriarch. "Communism is against religion. How can I do such a thing? Distort the Bible?"

He summons the head of the Catholic Church in Russia, and the same refrain is repeated, "I cannot."

He summons the head of the Muslim church (that of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and Turkistan), all the Muslims, and he says the same thing. After that he summons the chief rabbi.

There was a chief rabbi in Moscow, for all the Jews. The rabbi says, "Comrade Stalin, we don't have to change anything. We recognize the fact that there was Communism already at the beginning. The Bible tells about it from the first day."

"How can that be?" Stalin asks.

"It is written that Adam and Eve were naked and barefoot and had to make do with one apple, that they shared and went naked and barefoot, and they said they were living in paradise. Nu, that's just the way it is with us here."

-486-

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