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It Had Its History
The Jews of Russia
Jewish religious observance and study of the Torah and rabbinic lore were difficult in Russia during this period.
After 1772, Russia acquired a large area of Poland and with it, a large number of Jews. There were still restrictions against the Jews and eventually they were allowed to settle only in the Pale of Settlement, an area in the west of the Russian Empire.
Before World War I most Jews were confined to the Pale - an area limited mainly to what is today Lithuania, Belorussia and the Ukraine. It is known that at the beginning of the twentieth century there were five and a half million Jews living in the territory of the Russian Empire.
Jews who were able to work their way into such large cities such as St. Petersburg and Moscow were similarly restricted. They were excluded from the ranks of government service, especially officers corps, elected offices, teachers, the foreign service, the civil service. Jews were also excluded from leading positions in shipping, railroad, insurance and mining companies.
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