This year Kharkov is celebrating a quarter of a century since the rebuilding and revival of Judaism in the city. Purim in Kharkov has taken place in the circus for nearly 25 years since shluchim arrived in 1990. But this year the Circus on Ice was a first!
Hundreds of men and boys put on tefillin – over 2000 mishloach manos were distributed and 1000 neshek at the entrance. Rabbi Moishe Moskovitz spoke of the uniqueness of Shnas Hakhel – the Year of Unity and the Or Avner Day School students made a special dance in honor of Hakhel. Rabbi Levi Raices dressed as an eskimo, read the megilla to the packed crowd as clowns skated around him and the cheder and Yeshiva boys cheered the crowd each time Haman’s name was mentioned. Cantor Yitzchak Halfon sang with his sons a special Purim song. Monkeys, clowns, bears, sea lions and even emus and pelicans performed to Jewish music as the crowd enjoyed a unique performance – all in the Purim spirit!
From the kindergarten to the school, the ladies club and the kollel, from the young and old, the Machon and Yeshiva and even those in jail – all had a special Purim experience thanks to the hard work of all the shluchim in Kharkov. Special mention to the Levinson, Raices, Segal, Moskovitz, Stombler, Yakimenko and Semerenko families for their hard work.
The grand Purim Seuda in the shule was bigger than ever before in honor of Shnas Hakhel! Thanks to the hard work of Mendel & Chani Moskovitz the shule was transformed into a shtetl and all the participants were transported to hundreds of years ago in the shtetl – with the true simcha of Purim.