The new Chabad smicha program, Tomchei Temimim of Moldova, has been drawing a lot of attention boosting Jewish life and even warranted a local TV station’s interview with Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Abelsky, chief rabbi of Moldova. The smicha program is dedicated to the memory of Rabbi Zalman Tuvia Abelsky OB”M, shliach to Kishinev and head of Jewish life in Moldova for twenty-five years.
In addition to the smicha program’s curriculum, the students learn with community members, and teach children and teens in the city. The rabbinical students also go out to schools, colleges and town centers, visiting people, spreading Judaism and talking about Torah and mitzvot. One initiative the smicha students started, that has quickly swept the country, is the mitzvah of tefillin. They have dedicated their Fridays to going out, finding Jews, teaching them to lay tefillin, and encouraging people to take on additional mitzvot.
Yeshiva students hosted a farbrengen, chassidic gathering, on the 20th of Cheshvan in honor of the birthday of the Rebbe Rashab, founder of the greater Tomchei Temimim Yeshivot. The community joined together to pray, sing Chassidic tunes, say lechaim and take on new mitzvot.
The rapid success of Moldova’s smicha program and Chabad activities are also credited to Rabbi Zushe Abelsky.