Rabbi’s Visit Break-Off Country

Chabad Shluchim in Moldova made sure that the nearby break-off country of Transnistria also celebrated Pesach this year.

Moldovan President Igor Dodon sent a letter of blessings to Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Abelsky, Chief Rabbi of Moldova in honor of the Pesach holiday.

The letter offered blessings to the Jewish community and noted that Pesach helped the Jewish people survive all the hardships they had experienced.

Rabbi Zushe Abelsky, Director of Chabad of Moldova, said the letter was “in addition to his support for Israel and the Jewish community. We hope to soon see the Moldovan Embassy in Jerusalem.”

Kishinev, Moldova began its preparations for Pesach before Purim, arranged by Rabbi Mendy and Chaya Mushka Axelrod. Large shipments of Matzah and meat were imported from Israel and Ukraine. As per the yearly tradition, the Children’s Matzah Bakery was busy, under the instruction of Rabbi Shmuel and Chaya Zalmanov.

The Chabad Kitchen was turned over to be Kosher for Pesach, under the strict supervision of Rabbi Ariel Balon. The kitchen staff worked tirelessly for weeks to prepare thousands of portions of food for the one week of Pesach. 2,000 portions of homemade gefilte fish were prepared in honor of the Chag.

The highlight was the night of the Seder held in the Chabad House. Rabbi Shmuel Zalmanov and Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Abelsky led the Seder, and those present thoroughly enjoyed the uplifting and happy atmosphere there, along with the traditional Jewish food.

The nearby city of Bendery, within the internationally recognized borders of Moldova under de facto control of the unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (Transnistria) since 1992, was not forgotten and had its Seder as well. Rabbi Mendel and Leah Gotsel traveled there to arrange and conduct the Seder.

Esther, a community member, said “It was so happy and festive. Many people joined, and it felt so homey and real.” May we celebrate Pesach next year in our true home, Jerusalem.