Crimea On The Line

Понедельник, 03. Март, 2014 - 13:38

I haven't been able to write much over the past several days, as I have been traveling (except for Shabbos, of course!). 

It appears that there is some misinformation circulating, so I would like to clear it up. 

Our synagogue is right across the street from the Crimean "White House," and where much of the "action" is currently taking place, and therefore in the interest of the safety of the members of the Kehilla, we found it necessary to remove the sign from the building, and to temporarily move the Torahs and the services and other programs to another location, farther from the center of town. Even my house is only a few blocks from the cordoned off city center. 

As unidentified soldiers took over Crimean government institutions, surrounded Simferopol with tanks, closed off roads connecting us to the mainland, took control of airports, seaports, controlled the airspace over Crimea, etc. you can surely understand that the situation became quite precarious. My husband was actually flying back to Crimea from a fund raising trip in the States, in order to be together with our community in this time of need. His flights into Simferopol were cancelled several times. At this point, we consulted with higher ups in the Chabad central office, and my husband was told not to go to Crimea, and I was advised to leave. Plans kept changing as the roads were closed to civilian traffic (many thanks anyway to R' Yossie Wolf for his generous and kind offer to send a driver to pick me up) to take a plane or bus   (they had stopped running) etc.  Finally we found one train still leaving Thursday night and Yakov and Liza Gaissinovych kindly reserved the last tickets on it for me. I was left with basically 10-15 minutes to pack, so pretty obviously, the packing was haphazard, and I forgot some important items -- like my good sheitle :-(  . My driver, Sasha, took me to the train station. Many of my children stayed glued to their phones till they heard from me that I'd passed over to the mainland. As soon as my husband, stranded in Sheremyetova airport,  heard that I would be going to Donetsk, he changed his ticket and flew there.  He actually arrived before I did, and picked me up in the airport. Shabbos we enjoyed the very gracious hospitality of the Gaissinovych family.  Liza was amazing -- going to so much trouble for us just a week after giving birth!                                                                                                                                                 After Shabbos my husband farbrenged with men in Makeevka, in the Shul of R' Eliyahu and Dassie Kramer. Sunday morning B"H we were able to fly from Ukraine to the States via Moscow, and we have arrived now.                                                                        

 We are very grateful to the various individuals and organizations (government and others) who did their best to help and advise us, and have been concerned about our safety. We are constantly in touch with people who are running the davening, youth club, etc. for us in Crimea.                                                                                                                                                                      Our situation differs from that of most other nearby shluchim in that we are Americans (most shluchim are Israelis) and anti-American sentiment is running high.  Our city and Crimea are completely surrounded, and cut off from the rest of the world. Additionally, we live in ummmm not-the-greatest neighborhood, and in an old home, not a more protected modern apartment, as do most shluchim, foreigners, and Jewish functionaries.   Right now, we feel that until the situation stabilizes, we can serve our community much better from outside. Additionally, as someone in our kehillah put it: мы,члены общины сами просили раввина и ребецин уехать,они были в реальной опасности здесь,они нам нужны живые и здоровые. лена р.                                                               Translation:  We, the members of the community, ourselves asked the Rabbi and Rebbetzin to leave. They were in real danger here. We need them alive and well. Lena R.                                                  

Shabbos davening and the meals took place as usual.  Sunday and daily, men daven in another location, and a young adults club met there as well. We were instrumental in getting one person to leave immediately after Shabbos to be m'gayer in another city, and are trying to help others in various ways. We are involved in counseling. We are also in touch with our secretary, workers, and others there. We plan to teach classes via Skype.                                                                                                                                             So please do let others know that CHABAD OF CRIMEA IS ALIVE IN CRIMEA, and we ask people to please:                    

  * Say Tehillim for the Jews in Ukraine                                     * Take on a mitzvah or a hidur to help the situation                   * Donate to help us afford guards, security systems, and other needs                         

Here is the link to donateThank you for your interest! May we soon meet, with the coming of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, b'korov mamash, in Yerushalayim!                                                                                                           Leah Lipszyc

Комментарии: Crimea On The Line

Edmonde Dantes пишет...

I wish you success in your endeavors... If you think things are better in the States, you're wrong, Obama is ravaging the continent with Socialism... You are still better off where you are.

The Crimea is now part of Russia and it will probably adopt the Ruble. I am not pro Russia in any way, in fact principally I side with Ukraine, but the Ruble is a much better currency than the Hryvna, and Russia much more friendly towards Jews than Ukraine is. So this may be a positive outcome for Crimean Jews.

Perhaps this is the chance you have been waiting for all these years, to get out of that rat shack on Mironova and be able to effectively perform your duties as a Meshulachas.

When I heard that Crimea was going to be annexed by Russia, I immediately thought of you, and specifically, I thought it prudent that your husband go back to Crimea and make himself prominent, as the plethora of libertine "Shluchim" might now see fit to move in on your territory.

I don't agree with all the decisions that you've made, but this being Purim time, perhaps G-d is lifting you out of the doldrums like he lifted the Jews in ancient Persia. Maybe now is your time to shine.

Good luck to you Leah and best wishes to the Jews of Crimea and your family.

Leah пишет...

Edmonde Dantes -- whomever you are -- Did I say we are planning on living in the States? As soon as the situation stabilizes we plan on going back, and meanwhile we are working from here. We are perfectly aware of what Obama is doing to the US -- besides making himself and the country a laughingstock! You are welcome to call us and speak about anything you want, in person.