The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Lubavitcher Pesach in a Lubavitcher Town (End of Uman)

After over a month of delays, I've now managed to finish my final post in the Lubavitcher Pesach in Uman Series.
Click on the link to read on!

A Ukrainian sitting near our flat on 31 Lenina st.

The first day of Chol Hamoed we went off to Dnepropetrovsk (the sitting where the Lubavitcher Rebbe grew up) for the Kinus Torah  - Torah gathering - held in the synagogue by various Shluchim from across Ukraine.
So of we went from Cherkasy to Dnepr . . . something around a five hour drive.

By the bank of the Dnepr River with the other Pesach

Halfway through the trip, we came to Kremenchuk a Ukrainian town famed for it's Cigarette factories and fame in Chassidic lore as the home to many great Jews - and several songs composed in the town.

We stopped in the shliach's house, said l'chaim, sang the Kremenchuger Berel'ach, and continued on the way . . .

We managed to snap a shot by the city gate as well . . . the local who took the picture of us did such a lopsided job that no cropping would help . . . So I used this one instead

The shul in Dnepr

With the Rabbi's son.

Father and child

While I was at the kinus I met fellow blogger and Twitterer Itzhak Shier.
Unfortunately as it was shortly before Ma'ariv, we didn't have a chance to speak in any great depth.

The apartment the Rebbe lived in - I believe it's now an orphanage run by Chabad.

The Rebbe's father's shul - now a Yeshivah

Dnepr is fairly modern by Ukrainian standards . . . but to see the face of Denis, a boy from Uman adopted by the shliach, one would think he'd seen some lost ruins uncovered from the mists of time . . . or an interstellar cruiser. In short he was awed by the buildings . . .

. . .
On the return flight - once more packed with bochurim - we found, much to our pleasure, that we had the same flight crew as the way in.
When it became clear before we took off that the meals weren't Kosher for Passover (not as if any of the bochurim would have eaten the matzah balls in the first place) they held up the flight to bring on fruit for us.
In addition to the 40 plus bochurim, there was (l'havdil) a class of Ukrainian missionaries off to some conference in NY, and a Mennonite family connecting to Cleveland.
Soon several of the bochurim, were involved in a philosophical conversation with the Mennonite man and the two Catholic stewardesses . . . One stewardess enjoyed showing off her knowledge of Judaism from her study under the Jesuits in school, the other couldn't figure out how we could believe in G-d, but not the New Testament ("So let me get this straight - you believe in the Bible, but only part of it?" "You believe in G-d but not Yoizel? But you do go to Sunday Church right?" "But you believe in Yoizel right?"). The Mennonite, for his part backed up the Chassidic tradition of marring in the early Twenties (as did he) to the scoffing stewardesses.
Of note, I've often told people that the word Amish comes from a word in Pennsylvania Dutch related to the word Heimish in Yiddish . . . I was apparently incorrect, as Amish refers to the followers of Jakob Ammann.
It was a most interesting return flight.

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cyfried said...

Looks like you and Moish had an awesome time. Nowhere else says "home" quite like Eastern Europe...

By the way, Niggun Gaaguim would have to be my favorite niggun. Thanks for the link.

The Real Shliach said...

You were wrong?! Crazy!!

Mottel said...

-Cyfried I'm so honored that you not only took time out of your busy married-person life, but commented as well! Moish and I had a great time, though we missed our Peru-Threesome without you . . . Yes nothing says home like the FSU.

I'm glad to hear hear that Kremenchuker Berel'ach is your favorite nigun - though I always thought this was your favorite song. If you come to 712 I'll give you a private screening of us singing the song!

-TRS: I know. From here you see that every other time I've been right!

Mottel said...

argh last comment to CYFried was written while chatting on the phone. To clarify: I'm glad you rook time out of your life to not only visit the blog, but comment as well. And if you come to 712 I'll give you a private screening of us singing di Berel'ach in Kremenchuk. By the way, now that you're a Gurary, perhaps you can go back and try to get your shvigger's family's old cigarette factory!

e said...

In the orphanage, there's one stained glass window which is still from the days when the rebbe lived there.

Itzhak Schier said...


Thanks for the mention - again sorry, I got "pressed into service" at the amud (aka "khapped" like a cantonist LOL) and had no way out.

The home of Reb Levik (from which he was removed upon arrest) on Barrikadnaya is not an orphanage. It is a business center whose Jewish developers kept a monument to Reb Leivik.

The yeshiva in your photos is Kotzubinskaya, and it is preserved within a huge mall. It is the only shul that was allowed open during Communist times. Indeed it is a yeshiva and koilel today and the men's mikve is behind the shul.

Reb Leivik's shul is on Mironova and is a yeshiva dorm and orphanage.

And I also thought Amish = heimish; someone on CHInfo (the tabloid) set me straight LOL when the Amish came to CH and I commented about that.

Gut yom tov!