Like their brethren across the globe, members of the hundreds of Jewish communities across the former Soviet Union attended the annual Simchat Torah celebrations with broken hearts as the terrible news from the indescribable massacre in Israel became public. The hundreds of thousands of participants, most of whom have close relatives and friends across Israel, dedicated their prayers to the safety of Israel, recovery for the wounded, and memory of the murdered.
Nothing prepared world Jewry for these murderous events, Russian and FSU Jewry included, as the first and joyous night of Yom Tov (Shemini Atzeret, celebrated this year on Shabbat eve) was celebrated by masses with great joy and festivity. Only the next morning, when the news channels started reporting the catastrophe, did the participants begin to understand that war had erupted and comprehend the tragedy’s extent.
Under the guidance of the FJC communal rabbis and Chabad emissaries, the masses dedicated hours of prayer during the two days of Yom Tov, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, for prayers dedicated to the safety of Israel, recovery for the wounded, and memory of the hundreds murdered.
In parallel, the Jewish communities have started providing mental and emotional support to the community members suffering from stress and trauma out of concern for their loved ones. They are assisting in explaining the situation as it is, and connecting between the community members and their relatives in Israel, many of whom have been called up to the IDF and set out to war.
The Federation of Jewish Communities stands by the people of Israel and the Jewish nation, sends condolences to the many families that have lost their beloved ones, and prays together with the Jews of the region for victory against terrorism and hate.
Additional prayers were held today across the former Soviet Union.