Daniel's funeral
Daniel's funeralChabad of Kyiv

The Russia-Ukraine war is now in its third year. Over the weekend, during intense battles at the front, Daniel, a Jewish soldier of Ukrainian origin who returned to Ukraine to enlist and fight with the special forces of the Ukrainian army, was killed.

In light of Daniel's Jewish heritage, his commanders and officers from the Ukrainian General Staff contacted Rabbi Yonatan Markovitch, the Chief Rabbi of Kyiv, to inform Daniel's parents and family. Upon realizing that Daniel was a Jewish soldier, Rabbi Markovitch requested a proper Jewish burial according to halachah, or Jewish law. After coordinating with the military burial officer, the Ukrainian military agreed to arrange Daniel's funeral in accordance with halachah.

With the authorities' approval, a designated area within the general military cemetery in Kyiv was set aside. In the presence of a minyan (a quorum of ten needed for communal Jewish prayers) from the Kyiv community, a proper Jewish funeral was held, and Kaddish, the mourner's prayer, was recited at the fresh grave of the Jewish soldier. The Jewish community of the Jewish community center Beit Menachem in Kyiv committed to pray for the elevation of his soul and to reciting Kaddish daily throughout the coming year.

"Daniel was a true hero who was proud of his Judaism," said Rabbi Markovitch, the Chief Rabbi of Kyiv. "He embodied the Jewish spirit, striving to observe Passover with matzah and other religious items during the holidays and throughout the year. At the Great Synagogue in Kyiv, we will pray in his memory and for the elevation of his soul."