Russian Synagogues ‘Ignite Light’ Commemorating Kristallnacht

Dozens of synagogues across Russia took part during the night of November 9-10, in the ‘Ignite Light’ initiative dedicated to the International Day against Fascism and Anti-Semitism, established in memory of the horrific events of Kristallnacht. The lights of the country’s synagogues were left on overnight and candles were lit inside, preserving the memory of the terrifying events, but also marking the freedom of religion and the revival of Jewish life in Russia.

“The events of November 9-10, 1938, are undoubtedly the most important basis for the establishment of the International Day against Fascism, Racism, and Anti-Semitism since it is Kristallnacht that symbolizes the beginning of the greatest tragedy of the 20th century,” says Rabbi Alexander Boroda, President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia.

“As we recall the events of Kristallnacht,” he continued, “we remind ourselves that there is a very short path from the broken glass of a display window and the sign “Jude” to the gas chambers of Auschwitz. We are inclined to believe that the best victory over fascism is inter-religion and inter-ethnic peace and harmony.”

Following the call of the Chief Rabbi of Russia, Berel Lazar, candles were lit in the synagogues in honor of the tragic events of 1938. “The candles that were lit in all synagogues were intended to remind us that our life is eternal and the strength of the spirit is much stronger than brute material strength,” said Rabbi Lazar. “When we recall these tragic events, we think once again about how we must behave in society, help each other, and save the lives of others even when it’s not easy,” he concluded.


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