With Ukraine’s war in the east and the nation’s economic collapse, you’d think Purim might have taken a back seat this year to the country’s woes. Quite the contrary: Rabbi Moshe and Miriam Moskovitz, Chabad representatives to Kharkiv, pulled off a Purim spiel that brought 2,000 Jews to the city’s circus arena where they celebrated the holiday in full pomp and circumstance.
The megillah reading, performances by acrobats, clowns and animal dances, gifts of mishloach manot for every guest, offered locals a much needed reprieve from the crisis. Students of the Or Avner Chabad school performed to the delight of the audience.
Rabbi Moskovitz led a prayer for peace in Ukraine and the world. Rabbi Levi Raices and the Yeshiva Ketana in costume as robots from outer space, livened up the megilla narrative. Cantor Yitzchak Halfon performed a medley with his sons. Animals danced to Hava Nagilla, acrobats and clowns performed to Jewish songs.
The Purim spirit carried on through the rest of the day, with holiday programs in all of the city’s Jewish schools, topped off by a grand Purim feast in the historic Kharkiv synagogue.
To see more photos click on the slideshow above.