Hundreds of Jewish men, women and children from Kishinev, Belz, and Bendry took part in the huge Lag B’Omer parades in Kishinev.
On the eve of Lag B’Omer, a parade of kindergarteners took place in the Rashkanovka neighborhood. Hundreds of toddlers joined in as well for the short march with festive songs.
The main event on Lag B’Omer was Led by Rabbi Eliyahu Gargel, who came specially from Eretz Israel.
The event began with a march, complete with colorful signs and Hassidic music on “Ştefan cel Mare” main street in Kishinev, and from there set out towards the prestigious resort Vatra Strămoșească.
At the resort, the crowd arrived to wonderful food, inflatable games for the kids, and a magic show by the famous actor Gary Kozma.
The festive atmosphere and the happy dances around the fire created a special feeling, especially for the Ukrainian refugees who have remained in Kishinev and lived in uncertainty for almost three months.
A very special moment was the distribution of tefillin to Eliyahu from Nikolaev, who could not celebrate his Bar Mitzvah in his hometown due to illness. Since he has been in Kishinev with his mother, he underwent surgery and has recovered well with the help and support of Chabad Shluchim. Rabbi Mendy Axelrod organized a Bar Mitzvah party for him as soon as he was well enough. When he saw that Eliyahu was wrapping tefillin every day, Rabbi Axelrod surprised him with a gift of a new pair of tefillin.
Gershon from Charkov also attended the festivities. His escape from Ukraine and his fearless journey to Moldova brought him closer to Judaism. Gershon was circumcised in Kishinev and now joins in every morning for morning prayers and wraps tefillin every day. A new pair of tefillin were also given to Gershon.
While all this was happening, Grisha, a 16 year old native of Kishinev, suddenly asked to wrap tefillin. “It would be a Bar Mitzvah for me,” he said in tears. Nachman Dickstein, the deputy director of ZAKA in charge of the refugee medical center which was established in a collaboration between ZAKA and Chabad, stood with tears in his eyes and said: Grisha, if you stick with wrapping tefillin every day, I will buy you a pair of tefillin.
Mr. Shabtai Chanukahev, President of the Caucasus Jewish Organization in Moldova, was honored to read a special letter sent by Moldovan President Maia Sandu to the Chabad Federation thanking them for Chabad’s assistance in the absorption of Ukrainian refugees in Moldova.
Given the situation with the war, we invested a lot of effort into the Lag B’Omer festivities this year and indeed it was a very successful event, says Rabbi Zushe Abelsky, chairman of the community in Moldova. He pointed out that it would not be possible without the hard work of the shluchim Rabbi Mendy and Chaya Axelrod, Rabbi Mendy and Leah Gotzel, and Rabbi Shmuel and Chaya Zalmanov. Since the war has begun, the shluchim have worked around the clock…