In contrast to the cold weather that night in Moscow, in the small but pleasant restaurant near the Marina Roscha shul, the atmosphere was particularly warm. Dozens of bachurim from Yeshivas Tomchei T’mimim in Ohr Yehuda sat together with their fathers and farbrenged with the yeshiva’s teachers and the Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Sholom Dovber Hendel. They sang one niggun after another and then another inspirational talk, by way of preparing them for their trip to the Rebbe.
Entries in Russia (9)
Both were child heroes who observed Yiddishkait under Soviet rule. They had to deal with hostile classmates, they learned Torah secretly, and had to hide in times of danger. * Beis Moshiach met with two Chazan brothers, R’ Chaim Meir and R’ Avrohom, who explained how their family kept strong despite all the threats, persecution, and surveillance in communist Russia.
Pirsum Rishon: A Budget Proposal for Chabad Lubavitch Activities in Europe, signed by the Frierdiker Rebbe * Among the budget items: The Yeshiva & the Girls’ Schools, Evening Classes, School for Shchita, Milah, Safrus, Etc. * Regarding the Jews in Russia: Supporting the undercover religious activities carried on by these people * Sixth Installment
Rosh HaShana 5726/1965 by the Rebbe was devoted to the Chabad Chassidim who were held captive behind the Iron Curtain under the oppressive communist regime. Throughout Rosh HaShana there were a number of special behaviors that were different than the usual, in which the Rebbe showed that Russian Jews are never far from his thoughts and that on these fateful days in which the Jewish people are inscribed, he was working to remember them before Hashem
On Rosh HaShana, the Rebbe called for the Chassidim who left Russia that year to come up to the bima and be near him during the blowing of the shofar. Chassidim sensed that at this time, the Rebbe was thinking about the Jews of Russia who were in distress, and was working, spiritually, on their behalf. * 51 years have passed since the Rebbe sent Rabbi Binyamin Katz on a secret mission to the Soviet Union. * He was only 25, but with ingenuity, cleverness and stealth, he was able to outwit the KGB agents who dogged his steps.
Twenty-two years have passed since we last saw the Rebbe. Many ask how we can be truly mekushar under these circumstances. * Let us go back many decades to life behind the Iron Curtain where many Chassidim were trapped without a direct connection to the Rebbe, where the bond of love and longing connected them and melted any iron curtain that threatened to separate between them and the Rebbe. * Presented for Gimmel Tammuz
During the first wave of immigration from the Soviet Union, I was the Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv-Yaffo. One day, as I sat in the beis din that does conversions, a 42 year old doctor came in. He had come from the Soviet Union the day before with his wife and two daughters. He came for documents affirming his Jewishness for all the institutions that required it. He even brought witnesses with him to testify that he was Jewish, a son of Jewish parents. His mother was a pediatrician who runs a cardiology department in Moscow and his father, who was no longer living, had been a surgeon.
When the goyim knew that the Jewish holiday was approaching, they would jack up the prices. * We knew we had to open the door for Eliyahu but the door had to be closed so we wouldn’t be sent to Siberia. * Did you know that Mitzrayim has the same numerical equivalent as ס.ס.ס.ר (in Hebrew)? *The seder table brought back many Jews to Judaism. * Fascinating excerpts from an interview with R’ Notke Berkahan a”h that was published in Yediot Acharonot in the Erev Pesach 5733 issue
The fascinating story of a refusenik, Boris Levitas, who managed to break through the Iron Curtain by carrying out an instruction from the Rebbe. * Part 2 of 2