Ukraine Refugee’s Secret to Survival: ‘Think Good, and It Will Be Good’

Tatyana Chabarova of Kharkov gets ready to celebrate Passover with Chabad in Israel

Before the crisis in Ukraine, Tatyana Chabarova often heard her rabbi, Rabbi Moshe Moskovitz, the Chief Rabbi of f Kharkov and FJC representative, say, “Think good, and it will be good,” quoting the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory.

Yet those words kept Tatyana and her family going as they made their way across Ukraine, she tells Along the way, she found help from Rabbi Menachem Glizenshtein the Chief Rabbi of Chernovtzy, who gave the family a place to stay and food to eat, allowing them to rest before continuing their journey to Bucharest, Romania, and then on to Israel.

And it was one of the first things that the Chabad emissary to Nof HaGalil, Rabbi Shimshon Halperin, said to her when they met after the Chabarova family landed in Israel.

“Chabad is one big family,” she declares. “Wherever we are—every step of the way, starting with the Moskovitzes in Kharkov—we always feel that Chabad is looking after us.”

Tatyana says that Rabbi Halperin helped her with paperwork she needed to file and put mezuzot on the doors to her new home. He also arranged entry for Tatyana’s 11-year-old daughter into the local school, where she got to join in a group bat mitzvah celebration for girls in her new class.

Now, Tatyana and her family will be joining Rabbi Moskovitz, his wife, Miriam, and other members of the Kharkov Jewish community now in Israel to celebrate Passover together in Kfar Citrin, where her son attends school thanks to the help of the Moskovitzes.

“I was worried about how we would be able to celebrate Pesach in a new country,” she acknowledges. Besides, she adds, “it’s not possible to be a real Jew without a community.”

“I’m so grateful to all the organizers who are making this Pesach so that we can be together with old friends and get to know new friends,” continues Tatyana, “and to celebrate Pesach with the people I celebrate with year after year because the truth is, we are really all one family.”

Based on an article by  Faygie Levy Holt |

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