Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Counting the Omer Day 43 - 6 weeks, 1 day

Today is Chesed she b'Malchut - a day of loving kindness in a week of majesty.

A new synagogue opened today in Tallinn, the capitol of Estonia, more than sixty years after the previous synagogue was destroyed by the Nazis. The Chabad-affiliated synagogue (no surprise here:) will serve Estonia's 3,000-member Jewish community, most of whom live in Tallinn.

Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres and Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves cut the red ribbon to open the synagogue. Peres said, ""You can burn down a building, but you cannot burn down a prayer. And we are a praying people."

As Estonia chief Rabbi Shmuel Kot remarked, "For a long time, it was not possible to practice Jewish life in Estonia, there was no rabbi, no kosher food ... no possibility to learn about Judaism ... People will now have the possibility to feel as a Jew."

Today we enter this last week of omer and closer to the celebration of Matan Torah--the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. It is fitting that on this day a part of our population that was decimated now has a new center to study Torah together, in community.

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