A large group of students from Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim in Moscow arrived last week to Almaty, Kazakhstan in honor of Chof Av, the 77th yahrtzeit of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok, the father of the Rebbe MH”M. R’ Levi Yitzchok is buried in the city, in the land of his exile, where he was sentenced for the crime of spreading Yiddishkeit.
The yeshiva students are participating in the yeshivas kayitz “Oholei Levi Yitzchok” which was established eleven years ago by philanthropists Avraham Shaulson and Shmuel Stern.
At the Shabbos farbrengen, Rabbi Elchonon Cohen, the city’s Senior Shliach, asked one of the boys who came with the group what his name was, to which he answered the Russian name “Misha”.
Misha was new to the yeshiva, and as it turns out, he never received a bris milah as a child.
In the spirit of the Farbrengen, Misha took upon himself to get a bris immediately after Shabbos.
And so it was-the very next morning, the bris was conducted by Rabbi Cohen, himself an experienced mohel, with the participation of his friends in the Yeshivas Kayitz. “VaYikra Shmo BeYisroel- Michoel” -he took on the Jewish name Michoel.
The festive celebration carried over to a Bar Mitzvah later in the afternoon. A local boy in the community turned 13 years old and his jewish name is Michoel too!
Rabbi Yeshaya Elazar Cohen, the Chief Rabbi and Senior Shliach of the Rebbe in Kazakhstan relates that the purpose of the Yeshivas Kayitz is so that there is learning at the tziyun around the clock on Chof Av. They spend the time learning from Rabbi Levi Yitzchok’s holy teaching, commemorating his yahrtzeit. This program is in dedicated li’lui nishmas R’ Shmuel ben R’ Yehoshua Eliyahu Rohr A”H , who epitomized chessed and gave generously to tzedaka, and whose yahrtzeit is on the 17th of Av.
Rabbi Cohen adds that the community is getting ready for the hundreds of Jews who are coming from all over the world in honor of Rabbi Levi Yitzchoks’ yahrtzeit on Chof Av.
“Every year the number of those coming in increases by leaps and bounds”, says Rabbi Cohen, “They are coming to honor the Rebbe’s father and because of the miraculous stories that occur as a result of visiting the tziyun.”