Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement last month of a military draft for the war in Ukraine resulted in a huge wave of Russians fleeing the country.
Putin also announced the annexation of four Ukrainian territories following “referendums” and also again threatened to use nuclear weapons.
The Jewish kehilla in Moscow has understandably been perturbed by the latest developments in Russia. HaRav Moshe Lebel, Rosh Yeshivas Toras Chaim in Moscow, who also serves as the Rabbinic director of the Conference of European Rabbis, recently visited the home of HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein for advice.
HaRav Edelstein told Rav Lebel to convey to the Jews of Russia that his instructions are not to get involved at all in the issues of the Russian-Ukrainian war
HaRav Edelstein explained: “Everything is in the hands of Shamayim. We need to know that nothing is by chance, everything is the result of hashgacha from above – because on Rosh Hashanah it’s written about each individual and each country. And if one has zechuyos, there’s reward and hatzlacha, and if one doesn’t have zechuyos, then it’s chalilah the opposite. And the only eitzah is not via words and actions that can cause damage but with teshuvah and tikun hama’asim, especially during the Yamim Noraim.”
HaRav Edelstein emphasized that the bnei yeshivah in Russia carry a great responsibility. . “The zechus of esek haTorah will save them. They and the Jews of the kehilla will have siyata dishmaya in the zechus of esek haTorah – because the Torah protects and saves. And they should also increase their limmud of mussar.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)