At the end of a packed week with hundreds of visitors from New York and shluchim from across the Former Soviet Union, the shluchim to Alma Ata sat down to farbreng and noted the miraculous nature of the events. The President of Kazakhstan also noted 20 Av with a special letter.
By Anash.org reporter
The shluchim to Alma Ata marked the conclusion of the “miraculous” week of Chof Av, yahrzeit of the Rebbe‘s fathers, when hundreds of visitors had arrived from New York, and shluchim from across the Former Soviet Union gathered for a regional Kinus Hashluhcim.
The past few weeks were busy ones for the shluchim of Alma Ata, headed by Rabbi Yeshaya Cohen, Chief Rabbi and Head Shliach to Kazakhstan. Starting with the preparations for the many visitors, and continuing until the very last visitor had left, the shluchim hardly had a moment to rest.
This year the impact of Chof Av was especially felt, after a long year of lockdowns and travel restrictions. With covid-19 infections on the rise across the world, there was worry that perhaps visitors would not be allowed in, and when everything went without a hitch, the joy and relief was palpable.
On Wednesday night, Chof Av kicked off with a Siyum Sefer Torah, with many of the New York visitors joining right off of the plane. The next days continued in a whirlwind of davening, farbrenging and learning the Torah of Harav Levi Yitzchok, the ba’al hilula.
Separately, hundreds of shluchim from across the Former Soviet Union gathered in Alma Ata to take part in a regional Kinus Hashluchim, a historic first after the achdus achieved between the Chief Rabbis of Russia and Kazakhstan.
The Kinus was noticed by local leaders as well, and Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, even sent a personalized letter to the shluchim.
“I greet you and through you all the Jews of Kazakhstan on the day of remembrance for Rabbi Levi-Yitzchok Schneerson!
“Levi Yitzchak Schneerson made a significant contribution to the development of the spiritual culture of the Jews, and became recognized not only in our country, but also far beyond its borders. His disciples and followers live in many places in the world and preach the path of righteousness and piety,” he wrote.
What came at the end of the visit, however, was what the shluchim were marking as “miraculous.” On Sunday night, just a short while after the final visitors had left, the Kazakh government implemented a complete lockdown in the country, and canceled all incoming and outgoing flights.
“Had they chosen to implement the lockdown just a few days earlier, hundreds of visitors and shluchim would have been stuck for an indefinite amount of time,” one visitor told Anash.org. “Without any doubt, the merit of the Rebbe’s fathers stood by the travelers, allowing each one to complete their visit safely.”