In Kharkov, Purim Became the Holiday of Lights

Young and old packed the Shul in Kharkov, Ukraine to celebrate Purim as if there was no war going on outside. Inside, the Mayor announced that they will be turning on the street lights in the city for the first time since the war began!

This year Purim the synagogue in Kharkov, the largest in Ukraine, was packed with young and old celebrating as if there was no war going on outside.

Every Purim for over 30 years, the Jewish community of Kharkov takes over the local circus to celebrate and this year the circus came to the synagogue!

Clowns and acrobats entertained the crowd as hundreds of people streamed into the synagogue. Hundreds of mishloach manos were given out, men and boys put on tefillin, smiles were everywhere and despite the sirens, the joy was palpable.

Leonid Spector, the legendary ringmaster from the circus for more than five decades, started the program with his customary words “Spring has begun and the Jews of Kharkov have come together to celebrate PURIM!”

The young children from the Jewish Day School and the school’s director performed together with singers and circus acts.

For these children who for over a year have been sitting at home learning online, the festivities of Purim gave them so much to be happy and smile about.

Rabbi Moshe Moskovitz, said that the fact that so many Jews came today to celebrate Purim in Kharkov openly- is the biggest victory of good against evil. “When each of us adds in goodness and kindness we make our world a better place. Especially in this year of hakhel, our coming together is so important.”

The mayor of Kharkov, Igor Terechov, spoke about the tremendous contribution of the Jewish community during wartime, helping thousands of people with humanitarian help.

”As the Jews in the time of Purim “had light and joy” I want to announce a surprise today and good news that tonight on Purim, we will be turning on the street lights in the city for the first time since the war began!”.

When everyone left after the grand Purim celebration – they were amazed to see the whole city shining with lights!

Food packages and mishloach manos were given out to hundreds of homes, sharing the spirit of Purim to those who are homebound.

“Celebrations in Kharkov this year were in the spirit of joy and hope that there will be a miracle in our days and all war and suffering will end with final Geulah,” Rabbi Moskovitz said.

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