Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

8 Adar 5759 - Feb. 24, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly







Kiruv Seminar in Lvov

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Amidst the deep snow and freezing temperature of northwest Ukraine, a magnificent three day residential seminar was held recently on the outskirts of Lvov. This was the first of its kind since the collapse of communism to take place in this once famous ir vo'eim beYisroel -- formerly known as Lemberg.

The seminar comprised a group of thirty professional women, whose only prior knowledge of Yiddishkeit came from their young children who attend the local Jewish school. The event was organized by the Rav and Rebbetzin of Lvov, Rabbi and Mrs. Mordechai Bald. They are responsible not only for the kehilla and the various chessed organizations connected with it, but also for the Jewish school and kindergarten, with a total of 150 children.

The theme of the seminar, led by Rav and Rebbetzin Meir Roberg from Yerushalayim, was "Towards the Year 2000: The Miracle of Jewish Survival." Dynamic lectures and inspiring shiurim where given on a variety of topics, including "Shabbos and Modern Man"; "Interpersonal Relationships -- a Torah Perspective"; "Israel and the Nations"; "The Eternity of the Torah"; "Prayer -- the Potent Path"; "The Fulfillment of the Prophecies" and "The Role and Status of Women in Contemporary Society."

Above all, it was the warmth and radiance of Shabbos which gripped the participants and brought about an amazing transformation in every heart. The Shabbos spirit was evident in the "open forum" discussions held at melave malka, which lasted well into the night.

At the closing session on Sunday, members of the group were invited to comment on what the seminar had meant for them personally. Many responded with moving words.

Olga, a pharmacist, remarked how she had been very much in doubt whether to attend the seminar, since it coincided with her daughter's birthday. She was so grateful that she had decided to participate after all. Had she stayed at home with her daughter she would have given her a gift for a day, but by joining the seminar she was now able to give her a gift for life!

Natasha, a dermatologist, mentioned that her parents could never give her any Yiddishkeit during the communist era, but now she was able to pass on our holy traditions to her children and hopefully also to her parents. Tanya, an economist, spoke emotionally of how she had experienced her first Shabbos and that she would do all in her power to keep Shabbos in the future.

The conclusion of the seminar appropriately coincided with Rosh Chodesh Shvat, the month of renewal and rejuvenation. The feeling uppermost in the participants' thought was how to hold on to their newly found Jewish identity. A follow-up seminar is being planned for the beginning of Iyar, to ensure that the inspiration and the warmth of the first seminar will be continued.

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