Orthodox America


   Alexander Jacobson


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The son of a Jewish merchant, Alexander lost both his parents early in life. As a medical student he became acquainted with an old physician, a convinced Orthodox Christian, who revealed to him "the immeasurable treasury of the Orthodox Church." A year later Alexander was baptized. He tried to offer the riches of Christianity to those Jews who believed in God, but when his missionary preaching became known, he was arrested.

At the camp where he was sent was a particularly bestial chief who forced the prisoners to sing "morning and evening prayers - consisting of the "International" and other Soviet songs. At one point, when he was being beaten on the face for not singing, Alexander burst out with a loud voice singing "Our Father". This only increased the rage of the chief who threw the young Christian to the ground, kicking' him unconscious with his heels.

After his release from the camp, Alexander received a 'voluntary exile' to the city of Vyatka. With the help of St. Tryphon of Vyatka, he lived there peacefully for a year and a half until his second arrest when he was sent to Solovki. There he served as an orderly amidst the' overcrowded and unsanitary conditions of the camp hospital, selflessly dedicating himself to alleviating the sufferings of his fellow prisoners and at the same time patiently enduring the cruelty of the malicious hospital administration. Like so many opponents of Sergianism, Alexander did not live out his term. He was shot in 1930.

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