Emotional Prayers at the Tziyun of Rabbi Yisroel Salanter zatza”l on his 140th Yohrtzeit

This year, once again, the Jews of Kaliningrad- Konigsburg, a small Russian enclave nestled between Lithuania and Poland on the Baltic sea coast, gathered in the old Jewish cemetery to pray at the resting place of Rabbi Yisroel Salanter of righteous memory, founder of the Mussar Movement.

The city’s Jews came to pray and light a candle in his memory, and were very excited to see the new structure that was recently built in honor of his 140th yohrtzeit, which falls on the 25th of Shvat. It will allow the daveners to pray peacefully, protected from the harsh weather conditions so typical during this time of year.

The prayers were led by the city’s Chabad Shliach Rabbi Avraham Boruch Deutch, and were followed by a seuda and farbrengen which took place in the city’s centrally located largest shul. There the guests viewed a presentation showing all of the latest developments in the Jewish community, including the groundbreaking ceremony for a mikva tahara, which is being built under the strict supervision of Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, who personally visited the site, overseeing that it meet the highest halachic standards. This will be the first mikva to be built in the entire region in over one hundred years.

The community members were all very excited to learn about the opening of a new Jewish preschool in the city. “Mendkids” will serve the city’s Jewish children, enabling them to receive a full, kosher learning experience for the very first time. Rabbi Duetch called upon the city’s Chief Rabbi Dovid Shwedik, and the community layleader Mr. Eliezer Yirmiyahu Flitman, and honored them with affixing the mezuzas.

The guests were all then treated to a tour of the new educational facilities, where the Shlucha, Rebetzin Chaya Mushka Duetch, introduced them to the staff as well as the Jewish curriculum.

Photography: Denis Pavlov

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