Thursday, May 14, 2009

Always together

The autumn holidays were particularly joyful and brought many visitors to the Chabad Lubavitch Jewish community, including Rabbi Abelsky’s daughter Rachel, her husband Rabbi Nahman, their son Menahem Mendel and nephew Shmuel.

Mendel was the hazan-cantor at Rosh Hashanah services, and his marvelous deep voice touched everyone’s hearts. He is going to celebrate his 16th birthday soon and wants, as all men in Rabbi Abelsky’s family, to serve to G-d.

He visited Kishinev for the first time five years ago and liked this city very much, especially since his beloved grandfather and mentor.

Mend’s cousin Shmuel also took part in the services: although he is only 13, he was a cantor during the evening prayer. He sang very well and impressed the congregation.

Our newspaper has already written about Rabbi Abelsky’s daughter Rachel 15 years ago in a front-page article. She is a marvelous Jewish woman and very clever and wise. What an impression she made on me!

During my conversation with her I asked her if Kishinev had changed. “Definitely,” she replied. “Years ago this city was very provincial, but now it is more cosmopolitan. However, I worry about the growing gap between the rich and the poor. She continued: “I was glad to see the synagogue’s interior renovation and how many people are now a part of the congregation”.

Rabbi Nahman said he was impressed by Kishinev’s hospitality and the charitable services provided for the poor and disabled. As usual, I left Rabbi Abelsky’s house feeling calm and peaceful. His family exemplifies the best of Jewish tradition and the Jewish spirit of unity.