On the 100th day since Russia launched its brutal invasion of Ukraine, Kyiv Shliach Rabbi Raphael Rutman fulfilled a promise he made at the start of the war, when the prospect of survival seemed dim.
By Anash.org reporter
When Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine exactly 100 days ago, many pundits predicted that the capital city of Kyiv would fall in just a few days. Despite the danger, Rabbi Raphael Rutman, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Ukraine, remained to help the Jewish community.
At the time, he made a vow that if he remains alive and safe, he will print an edition of the Tanya in Kyiv’s Independence Square, considered to be one of Ukraine’s major landmarks. Three and a half months later, with Kyiv heavily battered but relatively safe, he fulfilled his promise.
The printing of the Tanya, held just before Shavuos, took place in a building overlooking Independence Square. Joining Rabbi Rutman were a representative of the Kyiv government, as well as Kyiv Shluchim Rabbi Mordechai Levenhartz and his son Simcha Levenhartz. Also joining them was Rabbi Meir Stambler, Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Ukraine, who traveled tens hours from Dnnipro especially for the event.
With a backdrop of barricades and checkpoints that remained from the battles over Kyiv, the mayor’s representative gave over his warm wishes for a happy Shavuos to the Jewish community, and praised the work of the Chabad shluchim over the last few months.
Rabbi Stumbler in turn thanked the mayor for his help to the large Jewish community in the city and for making it possible to print the Tanya in the square.
“On Shavuos we not only celebrate history, but also the present,” he said. “If we live as the Torah teaches us – beyond human reason and according to the instructions of the Creator of the world, we can live in a better world, and bring a geulah to each individual and to all of mankind, a time when there will be no more war or suffering.”
He also noted that Jews around the world were praying for the safety and security of Ukraine. “The Jewish communities in Ukraine are especially praying for the success of the government and armed forces, to bring peace back to the country,” he said.
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