My daughter Noa and I spent two weeks in Chisinau in September. Knowing in advance that we would be there for the Jewish holidays, we asked Rabbi Zushe to put us in touch with a family with whom we could spend the holidays and Shabbat.
So we spent some time talking, and it turned out that we would get the chance to meet the Zalmanov family – Rabbi Shmuel and his charming wife, Chaya Mushka.
We attended the Rosh Hashanah prayer service in the synagogue, and then had a meal in the hospitable and cozy home of the Zalmanov’s – they truly welcomed us from the bottom of their hearts. And although Rabbi Zushe had warned us that Chaya Mushka is an excellent cook, we simply could not have imagined just how good her incredible food would be!
Noa enjoyed spending time with the Chabad community so much that she happily agreed to participate in the Kinus, a women’s fellowship with a traditional ceremony for separating Challah. I couldn’t join her, but Noa felt so confident that I was comfortable with her attending on her own, knowing that she would be welcomed and taken care of. She enjoyed meeting the women of the Kinus and the Hafrashat Challah project.
And of course, we could not miss the Kol Nidrei prayer on Yom Kippur and again attended the service in the synagogue with the Jewish community of Chisinau.
This is not my first visit to Chisinau and its synagogue, and the feelings of unity and hospitality that exist in this community gave me the confidence to come during holidays knowing that we would be treated like family. After all, Chabad is our family!
Many thanks to Rabbi Zushe for many years of friendship, and to the Zalmanov family, with whom we have recently become friends. Until next time!
Director of Aliya and Absorption Department at the Ashkelon Ministry