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Edelstein George

( Priest)

Comments for Edelstein George
Biography Edelstein George
photo Edelstein George
(p. 1932N)
He became a priest later - in 47 years. For a successful teacher of Kostroma University, Head of the Department of Foreign Languages, he suddenly ends the Moscow Theological Seminary and is sent to live in poverty in remote rural parishes - in the steppes of Belgorod, in the Vologda forests.
. - Not suddenly - it improves the father of George.
. He slowly stirred with a spoon in a cup of tea - it's clear the slow movement is very characteristic for all its leisurely rhythm of life
. Hard to imagine him crying, fussy. Apparently, he broke something once in a lifetime, when a bugger, was unwilling to expose the head of the church, tore off his hat. However, this impudent an hour later he reconciled drinking tea.
He does everything thoroughly, thoughtfully. His house in Karabanova, 20 km from Kostroma and 300 meters from the Church of the Resurrection, of quality, strong, although the building material of. George collected mostly in landfills or getting on the cheap in the early 90's for almost orphan stock. Most of the house is a spacious room with a desk, bookshelves, computer. But the main pride of the master - not the computer, and an extensive cellar, bunker, where stored bags of potatoes, squashes and pumpkins, jars of pickles. In the food he is unpretentious, which is seen and the figure: lean, sinewy, his step is light and heavier only when the father will make the liturgy and then a few require - wedding, baptism, funeral. Load considerable, because it serves no one village. But if there is no congregation in the church, the priest is still in an empty church and prayed there with the housekeeper and Natalia Deacon Sergei.
. - No, of course, not a sudden I became a priest, - repeating his father George.
. Affected the impressions of childhood: a penetrating voice of his mother, who sang his Catholic hymns, the prayers of my grandmother that one of the grandsons became a priest
. Significant influence was the Russian literature, especially Tyutchev Baratynsky.
And most important - his life and suffered the Soviet way of life. In kindergarten he sees as removed from the wall portrait Postysheva, Ukrainian leader. PochemuN He is good! Father is arrested and released after the fall of Yezhov. Father refuses to condemn the prisoner's brother, a family friend reveals his father, repeating: "The party I value friendship. George is horrified that inexplicable betrayal. Adults his questions give evasive answers, and gradually comes to the boy insight ..
There were other impressions - we can say, "Christian-style". Mother, enraged his fight with a neighborhood boy because of the book, makes the book a son in the yard - "You greedy" - and gives. Mother leads to the house of children whose parents were arrested, arranges them in the family.
Over the years, growing stronger mood: to isolate themselves from the system. Already in the years of teaching, he is taken for writing the dissertation "The medieval theory of language", with relish working in libraries. She laughs: "How can I criticize the Soviet regime, when I was ten years reading great historians and philosophers, but I still pay for the pleasure!"
No, he never fought with the authorities and does not intend to do it again. He just wanted to be an independent person outside the system, and this feeling could only give the church. But the church hierarchy skeptical shrugged: higher education, Ph.D., a Jew ... No, do not fit.
- About your Jewishness you often napominaliN - I ask.
- Parishioners - neither word nor a hint. Colleagues of the church - yes. Recently, a Metropolitan called me "Pickled Jew" - in essence, this is a mockery of the sacrament of baptism. Party functionaries also emphasized my "alienation". Some annoyed: "Since you have some trouble, his father George. You and the father of Alexander Men, and Gleb Yakunin always make confusion.
It decided Kursk Archbishop Chrysostomos - the figure, in the opinion of. George, amazing. For 18 years he has collaborated with the KGB (under the pseudonym Restorer) - which is not surprising. Unusually another - it was only the hierarch of the Orthodox Church, who admitted involvement in the powerful agency, although he added: "I do not repent of what, I served the people of his country". Astute Chrysostomos quickly figured out that before him a very promising priest. Once he said Edelstein: "You should all so afraid of KGB men, with an agreement can. Worst of all party functionaries, they are not able to understand anything ". November 17, 1979 Chrysostomos Edelstein sent a telegram of approval on his ordination.
The first steps taken on. George in the Belgorod region, caused irritation of the Commissioner for Religious Affairs. First, the priest walks all the time in robes - not allowed, outside the church to wear civilian clothes. Secondly, at the funeral of the deceased priest goes to the cemetery, which can be described as religious propaganda. Father George even wore with a collection of regulations, from which it was clear that the funeral service at the cemetery is not prohibited. Chrysostomos sorrowfully reproached the neophyte: "I soon will be removed. Wrath descend on you. You behaved in a careless, irritated Soviet authorities. Go to the village to the North. Will be able to raise the parish - Welcome. No - go back to the civil service.
There followed three years of service in the remote northern villages, and in the spring of 1992. George was in the Kostroma region before Karabanova filthy dilapidated temple had been turned in the Soviet era in storage of mineral fertilizers.
. Here he rooted, built a house and with the help of Canadian Baptists and the Norwegian Lutheran church restored (in the author's view, visible evidence of Christian ecumenism)
. From this assessment of. George was unlikely to agree: the movement of ecumenism in its present form it is extremely negative, calling it "a roof for anti-clerical forces". But be that as it may, the result of joint work of Christians in different directions in Karabanova can see with my own eyes
Father George willingly goes to America, Europe, giving lectures. Personal income brought home and invested in the whole business: the restoration of the temple, to build houses for the homeless, to help the district hospital and orphanage.
Remedied asked many. When I came to a former homeless man Sasha, settled in the church yard. He and his wife brought a herd of bulls and now want to buy poles for fencing pasture. Edelstein promises to help, he rarely fails - only when in their pockets empty. Then goes on macaroni and weak tea, and the beggar said apologetically: "Be patient". Have money - and once again working in the house painters and carvers, workers are embedded in iron worn roof of the hospital, again acting sewing workshop in the orphanage. Comes humanitarian aid from abroad - a few days the village boys and girls show off in T-shirts and jackets with the menacing graffiti "Chicago Bulls".
To help the priest used. In Karabanovo attracted people from prison - tired, confused, humble. They find shelter here and work. Eat off, sleep, and then, as usual? High. Binges, on the same custom, end fire. Already burned two houses, killing people.
- My duty - to help them, - says his father George. - I offer a choice, and only them to decide how to arrange life. No soul-saving talk. If asked, I explain, I advise.
I am somewhat disappointed - tough position. I already painted a repentant tramps, who became angels under the influence of affectionate speeches priest. Alas.
. - Do not hesitate to ask awkward questions, - says the priest, noticing my mood.
. NeudobnyeN Well, maybe ...
. - Strange, is not whether you are tired of the monotony of repetition sluzhbyN thousands of times the same slovN
. - Strange, but not tired - with a smile on
. Georgy. - There is a Hellenic way of thinking, he requirements of a continuing change of impressions, but there is the Judeo-Christian, which is more concentration, commitment to tradition, to show restraint. Obviously, I belong to the latter.
. The conservatism of the clergy, who would be in Moscow seemed defiant, here in the village, is perceived natural - after all, and the village itself in the power of tradition.
. Seems natural and his rejection of the reform efforts of the Moscow priest Georgi Kochetkov
. But most importantly, that it categorically does not suit in the church - is sergianism (on behalf of Metropolitan Sergius Stragorodsky), the desire to please all the State. Here soft, restrained father George judged harshly and without mercy: "sergianism - is the belief that church and lying compatible. Do not hesitate, he calls the Moscow Patriarchate "island of the Brezhnev-chernenkovskoy stagnation, without the slightest sign of recovery". After such statements to him afflict many influential bishops: how dare he denounce the church! Nothing of the sort, is responsible for. George, "a theological ignorance is the identification of the bishops of the Church". Moreover, he argues that "the history of the Russian Orthodox Church since 1917 - is the greatest miracle of XX century. Only survived and prospered, our church, not because but in spite sergianism and sergianam.
That is why it so pleases Stainless religious feeling parishioners. I happened to attend the wedding elderly couple - she a housewife, it is the rural entrepreneur. Lived together for 17 years, raised two children, they came to the priest to strengthen their alliance. Struck by the emotion with which the forty-year trader listened According to the priest. He, like timid little boy, obediently fulfilled all his instructions. After the wedding, the family led to his white Volvo with a solemn, serene face.
Karabanovsky priest is not deceived. He even believes that the adjustment to the interest of the church was much higher. Now the church internally degraded under external lush bloom. A key problem - repentance and cleansing from sin, subservience, servility, lie.
I setuyu: something bad has to purification. Father George instructively reminds me of forty years, . during which Moses led the Israelites in the desert, . and people, . gone from slavery, . angrily shouted their leader: "In the land of Egypt, we sat by the flesh pots and ate bread to satiety! Patience: slave spirit so quickly disappears,
. Father George slowly stirred with a spoon in a cup of tea ...


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