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A few words from Ukraine

(הרב וולף עם תינוק בבית היתומים היהודי באודסה)
הרב וולף עם תינוק בבית היתומים היהודי באודסה

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin 

Rabbi Avraham and Chaya Wolf, Chabad emissaries in Odessa, Ukraine, wrote me last night as follows:

"Being here at this time is not simple and we thank everyone for their prayers and concern. We give reassuring messages wherever we can - in synagogues and schools, on social media, and in television interviews.

Here in Odessa we are especially concerned about Holocaust survivors, an orphanage, kindergartens, schools, and young students. The entire Jewish community in Odessa, upon which our efforts are continually focused, numbers 35,000 of the more than 200,000 Jews who live in Ukraine. We have been supplied with sleeping bags and food and have been stocking bomb shelters, but still hope that we will not need to put them to use. If only we could focus on the real upcoming main events: Purim parties. And by the way, a container with 14 tons of matzot is already on its way and will soon be here... with God's help.

Due to the situation, there were those who suggested we make this a day for special prayers and fasting, but this evening we are actually celebrating a holiday known as Purim Katan. This year is a leap year when it is customary to celebrate this 'mini-holiday' that occurs in Adar I, exactly one month before the actual Purim in Adar II. Purim Katan is a day of rejoicing and feasting in which we remove from our prayers any mention of sins.

This year Purim Katan gives us an excellent historical reminder of what Purim is all about. We hope that just like in Megillat Esther, where everything seemed gloomy and hopeless, here too 'nahafoch hu' (everything will flip). The Lubavitcher Rebbe used to say about Purim Katan: 'Zeh hakatan - gadol yihiyeh' (this little one will become great). In other words, just like on Purim itself, we will experience only good news in every aspect of our lives.

Happy Purim Katan from Ukraine!".


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