NEW YORK (VINnews) — “It says that one mustn’t cry on Shabbos but this Shabbos I couldn’t hold back tears three times,” Rebbetzin Miriam Moskowitz, the Chabad emissary in Kharkiv, described.Join our WhatsApp group
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“The first time was on Friday night when we succeed in getting to the shul. At kiddush we were downstairs in the dining room with the brave people who came to pray with us as well as tens of other people, women and children who have been living in the shul since the war broke out.
“After kiddush we sang “Nyet net nikovu” a Russian song which means that there is nothing to fear besides Hashem – and the tears flowed.
“The second time, was on Shabbos morning when we blessed the new month and said “He who performed miracles for our fathers.” We too need miracles at the present.
“The third time was after Shacharis. We have a nice custom in our shul that the president of the community, Alexandar Kaganowsky, congratulates those who have a birthday or other celebrations.
On this shabbos he said: “Rabbi Moshe (Moskowitz, the rabbi of the community) I want to thank you and all the emissaries in the name of the entire community for staying with us. For man years you have said that you are an integral part of us and now you have proved it at the critical time.” He ended in tears and with a big hug.
“The other thing which united us was that we didn’t have phones. We couldn’t check the news. We have received hundreds of whatsapp messages from all over the world, people concerned about our welfare. However at the beginning of shabbos we put our phones aside, lit Shabbos candles and prayed for peace.
Rebbetzin Miriam Moskowitz, Kharkiv
“There are three special moments I want to share, which I couldn’t capture on film:
“The first was after the shabbos meal at our house with family and grandchildren. All of them put on Purim costumes and danced around happily.
“My daughter Malka explained to me after their dance that she knows why everyone is sleeping in the cellar, since on Purim Haman said that we were scattered everywhere..we need to sleep in the same place and show that we are united.”
“The second moment was when we were saying the Mussaf prayer. My son Yossi was the chazan. When he began singing ‘Hu Elokeinu’ we heard loud explosions in Kharkov, from the Russians trying to enter the city. We sang louder and louder in an attempt to drown the noise of the bombings. It was an unforgettable prayer.
“Afterwards we had a Farbrengen (gathering) in honor of Shabbos. We didn’t need to say anything inspirational because we all sat together, more than 100 people in the cellar of the shul, including those who have been sleeping in the shul in the last few days, we united together in song- ‘Hineh Mah Tov u’Mah Naim.'”
“It was an unforgettable shabbos of faith, unity and hope for better days and peace.”