Friday, January 6, 2012

The Miracle of Hebrew part 1

Years ago, The 2 Spies had the privileged of visiting the F.S.U. ~ Former Soviet Union. The Iron Curtain had not been torn as yet and we were closely watched as we 'toured' the cities. There were guards on each floor in our hotel who kept an eye on our comings and goings and we are sure searched our possessions when we were gone. Our tour guide expounded daily on the glories of Russia~ most of which we agreed with her but of course there were major differences between us and our countries at the time. It was nearing the time of glasnost and perestroika and the Russian citizens were restless with what they felt was the approaching freedom. Still, there were police, prisons and punishments.

Moscow Synagogue
One of our main objectives on our trip was to visit the Jewish communities and encourage them that there would come a day when the doors would be opened. We spoke to them of Aliyah and of G-d's promised Land. We visited the Great Synagogue of Moscow that Pesach~ the first time it had been used in years. There were so many people that there was not enough room and the streets outside were filled. We shared the matzah that we had brought with them and once again reminded them that, like in Egypt, the day was coming soon and they could go Home. Hopefully, one day we could meet again in Jerusalem~

Sadly, there were many refusenics. Two of the men in our group (one of us and a friend) made a clandestine 2AM trip to visit some of them. They spoke of their lives and punishments they had suffered but also of their hope that one day they would be victorious. One of the men had been imprisoned for teaching Hebrew. That was his crime. It was illegal to teach Hebrew. He did it. He got caught. He went to Siberia.

Inside the Synagogue
It is hard to imagine that there once was a day in Moscow when Hebrew was illegal. As we listened to the concert in this video,this thought came to mind. As well as the thought of how completely life has changed. This concert piece is a medley of Hebrew songs done with the strength and beauty of the Russian creative soul. It was the  Turetsky Choir, the male choir of the Moscow Synagogue,  who performed this piece at the Kremlin. A rather remarkable and mind-boggling event. Years ago, we had walked the grounds of the Kremlin and past the KGB offices, praying~ pleading with G-d~ for the government of oppression to fall. To hear these songs sung in that place.... what can we say? We stand amazed at all that G-d has done in this place in our lifetime.
Enjoy the music.


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