PhotoS: Erev and Motzei Yom Kippur in Moscow

Hundreds arrived at the Marina Roscha Shul in the center of Moscow to do kapparos before Yom Kippur. The chickens were slaughtered right there by a crew of skilled Shochtim from the Moscow Shluchim, under the constant supervision of Mashgichim from the Chief Rabbinate of Russia which runs under the auspices of Rabbi Lazar.

Like in previous years, a special “Tent of Chesed” was set up once again, at the main entrance to the mikva. Here people were able to leave their “pidyon kaparos” money for the Moscow Matan BeSeiser charity that is part of the central “Keren Chaya Mushka” gmach. During this busy holiday period, the gmach is assisting hundreds of the needy and indigent, as well as large families, in a dignified manner.

After the morning prayers on Erev Yom Kippur, the throngs went on to receive “lekach” from the Chief Rabbi of Russia, Rabbi Berel Lazar. Later all the yeshivas came in turn to be blessed  for “Birkas HaBanim”.

As the holiday came in, thousands arrived at the central shul. There were plenty of kippas prepared for them in advance, as well as translated machzorim, taleisim, and even kittels. The tefilos were held in an atmosphere of elation and holiness, with the Chief Rabbi addressing the crowds before Kol Nidrei, and on Yom Kippur day, before Yizkor, and again before Neila.

The dancing that erupted during “Napoleon’s March” swept everyone off their feet, even after standing all day in prayer. Many stood on their feet all day because despite the dedicated Gabbais adding hundreds of chairs this year, there was still not enough room.

After Maariv, the Director of the Marina Roscha Jewish Community Center, Rabbi Mordechai Weisberg, made havdala, and the crowds were invited to break their fast and partake of a festive Yom Tov meal in various halls throughout the building.

Upon completing Kiddush Levana, many joined in building the large sukka in the courtyard of the central shul. It will hold about 700 seats for Shabbat and holiday meals, all free of charge.

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