The rabbis of the communities in Ukraine were prepared ahead of time, but they too were surprised to meet a huge crowd of worshipers that crowded the synagogues – contrary to all predictions, due to the war that is still going on.
“We received in the synagogue hundreds of the city’s Jews, including refugees from the cities of the fighting,” said Rabbi Mordechai Lebenhartz, the chabad rabbi in the capital city of Kyiv. “Despite the difficult situation prevailing in the country, Jews did not give up and came to connect and pray on the holy day every day of the year.”
During the prayers, the report was received in the synagogue that Iranian drones sent by the Russian army were intercepted – not far from the capital city, according to media reports. “Everyone tried to stay focused on the prayers and not to be distracted,” said Rabbi Lebenhartz.
In the Ukrainian city of Poltava, dozens of the city’s Jews arrived, alongside refugees from neighboring cities. They were received by the rabbi of the city and Chabad emissary Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Segal. The sensitive situation is well felt on the streets of the city, but the Jews responded to Rabbi Segal’s call to come to the synagogue.
In the nuclear city of Ukraine, Zapruzhe, the rabbi of the city and Chabad emissary Rabbi Nahum Arntroy gave a moving speech before the prayer of all vows. The rabbi strengthened the hundreds of worshipers who flocked to the synagogue in the city, despite the wartime tension prevailing in the city. “The synagogue was full of all The prayers,” Rabbi Arntroi said. “The alarms and the echoes of the missiles did not prevent the Jews of the city from coming and praying,” he explained.
In Krivoirog, the hometown of Ukrainian President Zelensky, nearly two hundred worshipers arrived. “We knew that a respectable amount would come, but this is definitely a surprising and exciting number,” said Rabbi Liron Adri.
In the city of Nikolaev, the alarms were well heard. “Nearly a hundred worshipers came to the prayers and the atmosphere was exciting and special,” described the rabbi of the city and Chabad emissary Rabbi Shalom Dober Gottlieb, “despite the war routine, we all take precautionary measures.”