“We Wanted To Leave On Shabbos But They Bombed The Bridges”

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HaRav Moshe Reuven Azman, Chabad shaliach in Kyiv, makes havdalah in the village of Antebka. (Photo: Devori Azman)

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Hundreds of Ukrainian Jews flocked to the village of Antebka, west of Kyiv, on Thursday and Friday and even on Shabbos itself.

“It wasn’t a simple Shabobs – endless shelling and the sound of booms,” Devori Azman told Kikar H’Shabbat on Motzei Shabbos. Devori and her husband, Shmuel, Chabad shlichim in Kyiv, and their small children, fled to the village on Thursday.

“We were over 300 people. We gathered here and the whole Shabbos, more and more people came from different communities in different areas – even from outside Kyiv.”

“At some point, we announced that we had run out of mattresses so people who live in Antebka took mattresses from their homes so people could sleep. We spent the night in the shelter, our second night. At five in the morning, we woke up from a deafening explosion of the Russian plane that the Ukrainians shot down.”

“In the middle of Shabbos, we received a report that it may be worthwhile to get up and leave. But then we heard that we can’t leave because they’re blowing up bridges so we stayed.”

“The togetherness on Shabbos gave us much hope and simcha. We encouraged each other that it’s Shabbos Mevarchim of Chodesh Adar and simcha is the true cure and halavei that we’ll have a big v’nahafoch here.”

HaRav Azman with equipment he prepared for the refugees before Shabbos. (Photo: ChabadInfo)
Supplies prepared for Jews of Kyiv. (ChabadInfo)

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)