The 4h Jewish ethnographic expedition begins at the building of the Jewish Museum and the Tolerance Center in Moscow on July 27.
Synagogues on wheels (“mitzvah mobiles”) will visit over seventy cities this year. Participants in this expedition – young rabbis, students of yeshivas from Russia, Israel and the CIC countries – study Jewish life in Central Russia, the Volga region, the Southern federal District, Urals and Crimea, the press service for the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR), which organizes the expedition, told Interfax-Religion.
“We are by right considered to be the most dynamically developing Jewish community in the diaspora,” Russia’s chief rabbi Berel Lazar was quoted by the press service as saying.
“Some people may think we can stop and rest now. But we understand very well that our task is to carry the light of Jewishness, the light of the Torah even to the most remote parts of the country, and we have a lot of work to do here.”
The purpose of the event is to familiarize with Judaism and Jewish traditions those Jews who for some reasons are far from the Jewish culture.
The crews will carry handwritten Torah scrolls, which rabbis will read to guests of the mobile synagogues in every city. Many communities have never been visited by the scrolls before. Public recitals of Torah scrolls is an important part of the Jewish religious practices.
Torah scrolls are handwritten on the skin of kosher animals. One scroll takes from six months to one year to make. The text should not contain any mistakes, or it cannot be considered kosher, i.e., allowed for divine service.
Photos: Levi Nazarov