'Never too late' not just an adage – circumcision at 80

How an 80-year-old born during the Soviet regime began learning about the rich history of his People and reached unfathomable heights.

Eitan Divinsky ,

Preparing for circumcision
Preparing for circumcision
Flash 90

About a year ago, an elderly Jew visited the local Chabad synagogue in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. With time, the man became part of the local Jewish community and a personal friend of the Chabad emissary.

The man made fast progress in his Judaica studies and at one point, told Rabbi Mendy Arntroy he was interested in being circumcised in accordance to the age-old Jewish tradition.

Born during a time when owning Hebrew literature – not to mention having a kosher circumcision ceremony—was unheard of and highly dangerous in the Soviet Union, the man's parents hadn't dared approach someone capable of carrying out the feat.

After some months had passed, the man, aged 80, said he was ready for the extraordinary feat of faith. The individual knowledgeable in the Jewish ceremony of circumcision, Rabbi Yaakov Gaisinovich from the Brit Yosef Yithak organization in Ukraine made the necessary preparations to ensure the safety of the procedure for a man of such advanced age.

Rabbi Gaisinovich received the honorary role in the ceremony and the man received the Jewish name of Baruch Wolf.

Following the touching ceremony, the newly-circumcised Jew raised a glass of "L'chaim" alongside the Rabbi who had accompanied him every step of the way and the mohel.



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