Israeli ambassador and Rabbi prepare to open the largest Jewish Center in Kyiv
This is reported by Jewish.org.ua.
"The opening of the synagogue and the new community center is a vivid and important proof of the flourishing and development of Jewish life in Ukraine," said Israeli Ambassador Michael Brodsky, after which he solemnly and symbolically hammered the first nail to strengthen the mezuzah: a talisman on the door jamb. In addition to the ambassador and Chief Rabbi of Kyiv, Jonathan Benyamin Markovich, the event was attended by the Honorary Consul of the state of Israel in the Western region of Ukraine - Oleg Vishnyakov and Chairman of the Jewish National Fund-Ukraine - Jonathan Ben Dor.
"It was a great honor for me to participate in such an important tradition as the establishment of the mezuzah. It is loved dearly by the people of Israel. It is rare to find a Jewish house without it: every Jew feels that without a mezuzah, something is missing in the house - a symbol to remind everyone who enters the house that this house is Jewish is missing," says Oleg Vishnyakov, a businessman and Honorary Consul of the state of Israel in the Western region of Ukraine. "However, the main thing in the content of the commandment about mezuzah is that the presence of mezuzah at the entrance to the House sanctifies it, filling it with special sanctity. It guards the house along with everything that is in it, and everyone who lives in it, even if they are on a long journey. This is an important and very spiritual event. Today we have laid the "first stone" in the new future and present of Ukrainian Jews," he said.
After the official part, the rabbi led the diplomats through the territory of the Community Center and showed the project. "It is very important that we installed mezuzah today, in Hai Elul, on the birthday of the founder of Hasidism - Baal Shem Tov, and the founder of the Chabad movement, the first Lubavitcher Rebbe - Shneur Zalman from Lyad. And it is symbolic that we do this immediately after the Independence Day of Ukraine. Both of them are buried in Ukraine, and Ukraine was important to them. And I am proud that we will be able to help Ukrainians learn more about our culture. We don't want to convert anyone to our faith, it's even forbidden in Judaism. We want people to know another facet of the history of this beautiful country and the traditions of the people who inhabit it - our traditions, Ukrainian Jews," says Chief Rabbi of Kyiv Jonathan Benyamin Markovich.
Mezuzah is a traditional symbol and Amulet of the Jewish Home. Inside it are words from the Torah, the "declaration of monotheism", which proclaims that God is one. The rabbi and the ambassador also discussed topical issues and issues, including pilgrimage tours. At the moment, there are already several thousand Israelis in Ukraine who came to Rosh Hashanah.