Rebbe’s Picture Adorns Mikvah In Tehran, Iran

The Jewish community in Tehran recently renovated the mikva in the city. Despite Chabad not having an official presence in the country, the community placed a large picture of the Rebbe in the entrance room.

By reporter

The Jewish community in Tehran, headed by Iran’s Chief Rabbi Rabbi Yehuda Gerami, recently renovated the mikva in the city with halachic hiddurim and advanced hygienic installments.

“The women’s mikvah in Tehran was renovated with many halachic hiddurim (מי גשמים ובור זריעה והשקה) and a high hygienic level with the installation of advanced purifiers and filters that purifies all the water in the mikva after each tevilla within ten minutes,” Rabbi Gerami wrote on social media.

Although there is no official Chabad presence in Iran, the community chose to hang a large picture of the Rebbe in the mikvah’s entrance room near a picture of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the former Sephardic Chief Rabbi who is widely respected by Iran’s Jewish community.

Prior to the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Chabad was active in Iran, as in many other Muslim countries. Following the overthrowing of the Shah, Chabad spirited thousands of children out of the country as a large part of the Jewish community attempted to flee the new regime.

In the years since, Chabad has not held an official presence in Iran, but the community is in contact with Chabad representatives who assist them to the best of their ability. In 2018, media outlets reported that Russia’s Chief Rabbi and Head Shliach Berel Lazar had visited the country. More recently, Iran’s Chief Rabbi told Mishpacha magazine that many members of his community join a Persian Language Tanya shiur, given online by a shliach in California.

The Rebbe’s picture appearing in Muslim countries in not a new phenomenon either. On June 14, 1994, just two days after Gimmel Tammuz, Senator Pat Moynihan noted in a speech in Congress that “When I met with the Jewish leaders of Morocco and toured several of their synagogues and civic centers I discovered two pictures in every building–His Majesty King Hassan II and the Lubavitcher Rebbe.”

In Bahrain as well, despite there only being 35 Jews left in the country, the rarely-used shul displays a shofar, menorah, graggers….and a picture of the Rebbe.

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