The Jewish community of Krasnodar, a city in southern Russia, has seen a renaissance in its Yiddishkeit recently with the arrival of their energetic new Rabbi and Shliach Menachem Mendel Lazar, who leads the Jewish community with dedication and skill.
About two weeks ago he was notified of the birth of a son to a young Jewish couple who regularly attend his Torah classes. When it became evident that the bris would be on a Friday, a Mohel was invited to Krasnodar. Due to flight cancelations, the Mohel landed about two hours before Shabbos, but the baby had his bris at an emotional ceremony in the city’s central shul and was named Eliyahu.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Lazar used this opportunity to arrange a bris for some older members of the community. The first was a Jew whose father began attending shul regularly in recent years, and when he saw the joy that this brought his father, he decided that he wants in. And his name is now Levi Yitzchok.
The second is a young man who recently began attending Torah classes for students, and at a recent farbrengen which he attended, he took upon himself to have a bris. And his name is now Yosef Yitzchok.
The third man moved to the city of Krasnodar just a few months ago, and after coming to shul, he made additional steps in his Yiddishkeit. On Shabbos, he was at the Rabbi’s Shabbos table, together with the Mohel and many other guests, when his soul was aroused, and on Sunday morning he showed up, his eyes all red from a sleepless night. He said he hadn’t slept a wink, he wants to have a bris and become Yisroel Arye Leib.
Russia’s Mohel Dr. Rabbi Yeshayahu Shafit has been making brissin for many years under the auspices of “Bris Yosef Yitzchak” directed by Rabbi Yaron Amit, and he is the one who brought all these Jews into the covenant of Avraham Avinu on his very quick visit to the city of Krasnodar.
These brissin are just a small taste of the wonderful things that are going on in the southern city which is home to thousands of Kavkazi Jews.