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Russia’s Chief Rabbi Takes a ‘Very Long’ Shabbos Walk

lazputRussia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar on Friday night walked 30km (18 miles) from the airport to his home because his flight arrived 10 minutes before Shabbos. He arrived home at 6:00am Shabbos morning and quickly prepared himself to go to shul.

The story begins with a ceremony he attended in Belgorod, Russia on Friday marking the 70th anniversary of the major battle against the Nazis. Also present was Russian President Vladimir Putin and cabinet ministers. The chief rabbi was invited by the president and while Rabbi Lazar tried to get out of attending because of candle lighting considerations, he attended after receiving a promise that he will be home well ahead of Shabbos. Kremlin officials promised the rav his flight would leave two hours before candle lighting, realizing the flight time is only one hour.

Due to the fighter jets operating in the area where his plane was set to take off, planes had to wait a period of time between departures, leading to the delay. The rav asked to disembark, preferring to remain for Shabbos but he was told that since the plane was on the runway this was impossible. Hence, he arrived at the airport 10 minutes before candle lighting and he simply walked.

Cabinet ministers saw the rabbi send the guards and driver off, realizing he was beginning the long walk. They offered him a ride, but he politely refused. “Come and get in. Come quickly and no one will see” they are quoted saying to him.

The rav arrived home early morning, made Kiddush and ate something and headed for Shachris. He went to mikve on the way to shul in line with his minhag and davened with the tzibur and delivered his drasha as expected.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

9 Responses

  1. “Come and get in. Come quickly and no one will see” they are quoted saying to him.

    Rav Lazar did what is expected of a Jew. We hear this frequently, if we live and work among Gentiles. They may respect us, and even try to be helpful. In their fleishige eyes, it’s all about who will see. YWN should find more news events like this, even when they don’t involve a Chief Rabbi. Torah Jews, living in a secular world, in Golus or Eretz Yisroel, would provide material similar to this on a daily basis.

  2. RabbiRabin, maybe the area was all “built-up” / inhabited. Here in Chicago one can walk 18 miles. I imagine lots of New York metro area is the same.

  3. Here in Manchester UK one can walk fro the airport to the jewish commuinity area (about 15 miles) without having a Tchum problem. I imagine that is true of most metropolis around the world except possibly in Eretz Yisroel!!

  4. #5 don’t give ‘RabbiRabin’ such a hard time. He did bring up a valid question. Tchum Shabbos is one of the 39 melachos and not a rabbinic prohibition. How about putting oneself in extreme danger if within the 18 miles there is some rough areas. Chicago we can think of the South Side, in NYC we can think of Harlem and others.

  5. Thats 3 kiddush Hashem stories so far,
    (Hikind’s hatzolah call,
    Israeli lacross team not playing on shabbos)
    Keep ’em coming.

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