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May 15, 1987 - Image 95

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-05-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

West was like. We each came to
the Soviet Union heavily
"armed" with our own photo
albums. Each album vividly
spoke for itself. We shared pic-
tures of our weddings and
sheva brachot (seven blessings)
celebrations, brit milah, sid-
dur party at day school, bat-
ting practice in Tawas, Mich.
at the Kollel's Yarchei Kallah
summer retreat, and family
camping trips. Soviet Jews we
met devoured the details
feverishly and asked us to send
copies of what they had just
been shown.
We were overjoyed to receive
several invitations to accom-
pany some of the young people
home to participate in their
Purim seudah. While on the
trolley to Yehudah's apart-
ment„ there was much ado
about the fact that fleishig was
to be served at the Purim feast:
Kosher meat is a rarity in the
Soviet Union today. There
seemed to be an endless stream
of young people entering
Yehudah's apartment in order
to hear the Megillah reading.
While reading the Megillah
we were interrupted several
times when either the phone
rang or someone knocked at
the door. We then continued
reading instinctively in
hushed tones, wary of un-
wanted visitors. At the conclu-
sion of the Megillah reading,
everyone spontaneously broke
out into dance — dance with-
out song. Then each one sang
his own song. We shared sev-
eral new songs which quickly,
but quietly, caught on.
We travelled to the Metro
(subway) to our next and final
Purim visit, the _apartment of
Misha, a pediatrician who is
now quietly practicing as a
mohel. His wife, Chana, was
trained as a music teacher, but
teaches Hebrew language as
well. Both are active in the
Chabad group.
We enjoyed a seudah of
boiled vegetables and salty
herring in their small one room
multi-purpose apartment.
Within moments the kitchen
can be transformed into either
a bedroom or a mini-learning
Each apartment we visited
was pitifully meager by
American standards. For obvi-
ous reasons, mezuzot were
positioned on the inside of
doorposts, rather than freely
displayed on the outside, as is
the practice worldwide.
Nonetheless, each apartment
was beautifully adorned with
children's holiday projects
from throughout the year, as
well as creative expressions of
artwork on Jewish motifs. We
saw an Israeli flag in the shape
of a tallit, a Bar Mitzvah poster
featuring the two tablets of the
Decalogue enclothed in tallit
and tefillin. But the multi-
colored, handpainted
"Hoshatah Hocha" poster con-
taining the well known intro-

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