Matzah baking in Ukraine
Matzah baking in UkraineFJCU

The military aid given by the West to Ukraine is running out fast and President Zelensky is begging for help after the Ukrainian army suffered heavy losses on the front line and many places were left without electricity following a massive attack. The Jewish people of Ukraine are preparing to celebrate the third Passover in the war as free people, as much as they can.

At the huge logistics center of the "Federation of Jewish Communities in Ukraine" (FJCU) in the city of Dnipro, this week they finished the long preparations for Passover that began a month and a half ago and began with the transportation and distribution of packages of essentials to 45 thousand Jewish families in the 169 Jewish communities throughout the country (out of 180 that were before the war).

Dozens of "Federation" employees and volunteers began packing 45,000 packages even before Purim, each of which includes handmade and machine matzahs, wine, grape juice, a Seder plate, a cup, a Seder plate puzzle, holiday and Shabbat candles, a magnificent Haggadah translated into Ukrainian, and information about the holiday and its obligations.

The packages
The packagesFJCU

As with all holiday packages that are distributed to the Jews of the country, the Federation tried to ensure that all goods were made by factories of Ukrainian Jews, and of course the main ones were machine matzahs baked in Kiev, as well as hand-made matzots baked at the "Tefaret Matzot" bakery in Dnipro, which was hit by a Russian drone on the eve of Passover last year.

The Federation and Chabad representatives in the country plan to hold public events in the 41 largest cities of the country, approximately every year for the past 33 years, in which approximately 20,000 Jews are expected to participate in the events that will be held on the two nights of the Seder.

On this holiday, for the first time, Jewish soldiers on the front line will also celebrate, after Rabbi Yaakov Siniakov, who was appointed by the federation to lead Jewish religious life in the army, held a special seminar last week for chaplains serving as religious officers, in which he explained to them the holiday needs of Jewish soldiers and asked them to give them the ability to celebrate the holiday as much as possible. Like on the holiday of Purim, when permission was given for the first time to walk around the front lines and distribute to the soldiers משלוח מנות and the Megillah, Rabbi Siniakov will walk around with some volunteers along the long front lines and hand out the special packages to Jewish soldiers in the army.

According to the Chabad Shliach and the chairman of the federation Rabbi Mayer Stambler, "We did not believe in our wildest dreams that we would celebrate this Passover when the war is still going on and when our brothers in Israel are fighting a brutal war against their enemies, but our spirit remains strong and we are preparing to celebrate the holiday with as much real freedom as possible. No war and no difficult situation will subdue our spirit to live as Jews.The Jews of Ukraine and the Jews of Israel do not stop praying that even before this Passover we will be after the war, we wish next year in Jerusalem".