Rosh Hashanah tefillos took place in the United Arab Emirates’ capital city of Abu Dhabi for the first time in history, B’Chadrei Chareidim reported.
There has been an organized Jewish community in Dubai for years, but to date, Abu Dhabi has not had any organized Jewish activities outside private homes.
“I’ve been active in Abu Dhabi as well almost from the moment I arrived in Dubai but mainly through activities in the homes of Jews living there,” Rabbi Levi Duchman, the only resident Rav in the UAE, said. “We held shiurei Torah or chavrusah learning but we never held tefillos in a minyan in Abu Dhabi or other religious ceremonies.”
The new shul is in a central area called Saadiyat Island. As Rav Duchman was leading the tefillos in Dubai over Rosh Hashanah, he brought in four yeshivah bochurim from New York to Abu Dhabi and they led the tefillos, with two serving as chazzanim, one reading from the Torah and the fourth blowing the shofar.
“I’m sure that the peace agreement with Israel was a catalyst for the opening of the shul and I’m glad that the Jews in Abu Dhabi didn’t have to travel to us in Dubai like every year,” Rabbi Duchman said.
The tefillos were attended by 20 Jews, including the members of the Jewish family who were rescued from Yemen a month ago.
Three minyanim were held in Dubai over Rosh Hashanah, with about 100 participants in the central minyan and another 50 in the other two minyanim.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)