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WATCH: Haunting Kiddush Next To Bus As Frum Jews Flee From War Zone

Throughout Shabbos, a convoy of four buses carrying hundreds of refugees from the Jewish kehilla in Odessa traveled non-stop to a refuge in western Ukraine, on a tension-filled and frightening journey.

The refugees were not only afraid of Russian shelling but were also worried that the buses would be stopped by Ukrainian authorities since Ukrainian men aged 18 to 65 are currently banned from leaving the cities. Fortunately, however, the buses succeeded in reaching a safe haven in western Ukraine on Shabbos at 4 p.m. after traveling almost non-stop for two days.

“Over Shabbos, there were very heavy traffic jams of hundreds of kilometers of Ukrainians fleeing west,” HaRav Aharon Motoz, head of Dirshu in Ukraine, told B’Chadrei Chareidim. “We drove almost non-stop. We stopped for a few minutes on Friday night and had Kabbalas Shabbos – we made Kiddush and ate a kezayis of challah and then immediately continued traveling. We were tense the whole way and we were afraid we would be stopped. Ukrainian soldiers were everywhere with their weapons drawn. Part of the time we were traveling against traffic.”

In a video of the surreal scene, HaRav Rafi Kruskal of Odessa is seen making Kiddush surrounded by the refugees standing next to the buses.

Below is a video of HaRav Shlomo Baksht, the Rav of Odessa, and part of his kehilla, davening Mincha, on the way to safety.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

5 Responses

  1. Vladimir Putin is a tyrant, a liar and a thug. The man who says he’s come to Ukraine to “de-nazify” it is forcing Jews to flee their homes and houses of worship.

    That’s a stupid argument. He has not forced anyone to flee, and he’s certainly not forced Jews to flee because they’re in any danger as Jews. They chose to flee because war is inherently a dangerous thing, and they’ll feel safer away from it. If Putin succeeds, they’ll be able to return home and resume their lives exactly as they were, or even better.

    This twitterers’ basic argument seems to be that the Nazis were bad because they waged war; Putin is waging war, therefore he’s as bad as the Nazis, and can’t be truly aiming to denazify the Ukraine. But the Torah disagrees. The Torah says kings are entitled to wage war and do nothing wrong, even if their wars kill 1/6 of the world’s population.

    Hitler did nothing wrong in attacking Poland, and if he’d behaved like every other king who makes war, attacking only soldiers and leaving civilians alone, and certainly not rounding up Jews and shooting them for no reason, we would have no objection to him. He’s remembered for evil, not because he waged war but because he did all those other things. Condemning him for waging war is like condemning a notorious serial killer, robber, and rapist, because he ate scrambled eggs in the morning!

  2. It doesn’t occur to YWN that perhaps showing videos of frum Jews forced to be mechallel Shabbos is not so appropriate ? Is the ‘need’ to show your readers a haunting kiddush so urgent?

  3. American Yerushalmi,
    I never knew Pikuach Nefesh is being Mechalel Shabbos.
    Should videos of Hatzala ambulances driving on Shabbos also be banned?
    We have many Mitzvos that often contradict each other and Chazal taught us which Mitzva takes priority. When a Mohel performs a Bris on Shabbos he’s not being “Mechalel Shabbos”

  4. Kuvult, the halacha is that דחויה שבת אצל פקו״נ, not הותרה. Pikuach nefesh justifies chilul shabbos, but it’s still chilul shabbos. Whereas milah is not chilul shabbos at all, because the Torah says so.

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