Israel’s Chief Rabbi to Ukraine Jews: We Stand With You

February 25, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israel’s Chief Rabbi David Lau spoke on Thursday with Rabbi Moshe Asman and Rabbi Yaakov Bleich of Ukraine after Russia invaded the country  and told them that “the people of Israel are by your side.”

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Rabbi Lau heard from them about the feelings of the communities at the moment and “the difficulties they are facing during these difficult hours.”

The Chief Rabbi lent support to the rabbis in Ukraine and said “that during these hours all the people of Israel are by your side, praying for you and longing for the end of the war without further losses.”

Rabbi Lau further told them that he and the staff would be available for anything for the communities in Ukraine.

Israel’s Minister of Aliyah and Absorption Pnina Tamano-Sheta told IDF Radio that the country “is prepared to receive thousands of immigrants from Ukraine. We have not seen a sharp jump in demand for immigration in the last month, but when the guns are roaring, the situation can change.”

Earlier in the day, the rabbinical leadership of the Jewish Federation of Ukraine issued special instructions to the leaders of the 160 Jewish communities in the country, asking them to adhere to the government’s instructions, take care of all the Jews in their cities, and stressed that they are staying in the country.

“At the same time, those who can leave Ukraine safely should do so through land crossings,” they said.

Although most of the rabbis and Chabad emissaries in the country have Israeli or American citizenship, they have stayed behind to be with their community members in these difficult moments, out of a sense of heavy responsibility and leadership.

The Jewish community in Moldova stated that is deployed across the border crossings between Moldova and Ukraine and in the area of Moldova International Airport to provide immediate emergency assistance to the Jewish refugees.

As part of the deployment, the community has prepared a fleet of buses to transport people from Ukraine to Moldova, with food supplies, pre-rented hotels, and shelters to accommodate hundreds of people. Emergency medical staff are on standby.

The preparation activity is coordinated by the Chief Rabbi of Moldova with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora in Israel and Jewish organizations such as the Jewish Agency and the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).

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