Black and White Purim in Ukraine

When thinking of Ukraine, old-time black and white images come to mind. But that’s not what the shluchim in Sumy had in mind for “Purim in black in white.”

By staff

Weeks before Purim, Rabbi Yechiel S. and Rochi Levitansky taught the community how ‘Amalek’ equals ‘Safek’ – doubt and “not so black and white.” On Purim, when we erase Haman and Amalek, everything becomes clear – black and white.

A giant chessboard decorated the front of the shul reminding everyone to fulfill the Mitzvos of Purim “in 4 moves.” Another sign prompted the 150 participants to take a step forward in their Yiddishkeit, “What’s your next move?” 

As the guests entered the Shul building, they were greeted by the young shluchim who helped them with Matonos L’evyonim in containers attached to giant chess pieces. After washing for Hamotzi in the “darkroom” they received a black and white hat and a “developed film” with the 4 mitzvos. 

Rabbi Levitansky began the program with everyone trading packages of Mishloach Manos, and then he read the Megila while the children dressed as mimes encouraged the crowd to remain silent. The entertainer engaged everyone with fun interactive games and competitions relating to the meaning of the theme and challenged them to guess the hidden message of the chessboard.

One of the participants of the Kolel finally got the answer! Chess in Hebrew is “shachmat,” add 1 and the numerical value is the same as Moshiach. Your one move (Mitzvah) can take you from checkmate (Galus) to Mashiach and Geulah!

As usual, the highlight of the evening was the performance of song and dance by the Ohr Avner kindergarten, including a Purim rendition of “Charasho” which got thunderous applause and, of course, the famous ‘Hup Kossak’ dance by the shluchim kinderlach. All in all, it created yet another unforgettable evening for the community.

Special thanks to the staff of the Ohr Avner preschool and the Shluchos from Bais Rivkah Kfar Chabad for their help in putting it all together.

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