Thousands of school children from Jewish schools across Ukraine gathered together Wednesday for a special prayer for peace in the country, in wake of the gathering of Russian militia along the Ukrainian border.
These are children who are members of the Or Avner school system, in the city of Mariupol near the border, in Odesa which is under threat of an invasion by sea, in Kharkiv near Belarus, in the capital Kyiv, and in Dnipro and other cities.
The events included prayer, giving money to charity, and learning about how to seek peace between a person and his fellow man. This took place at exactly 10 a.m., at the same time as the Ukrainian anthem was sung all over the country as part of the National "Day of Unity" declared by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
As part of the special hour-long program, they also prayed for the coming of Mashiach (the Jewish Messiah) and for complete redemption.
This activity was done in accordance with a letter issued last night by the Jewish Federation in the country which read, among other things: "Dear and beloved Ukrainian Jews, we are in tense and fateful days following the situation inside and outside the country, but as faithful Jews we are certain that everything is by Divine providence, no evil descends from above, and that everything is only for the good."
The rabbis, who represent 160 Jewish communities in Ukraine, further wrote: "These days are the joyous days of the month of Adar, and we were commanded that, 'When the Jewish month of Adar begins, we increase in our joy' - especially according to what the Lubavitcher Rebbe said, that sixty days in Adar are special days. All the things that are the opposite of happiness and goodness are nullified. We stand here during Shushan Purim Katan (the 15th of the first month of Adar) where everything can be overturned, a day when good is victorious over evil and light champions darkness - a day capable of open miracles that will bring with it good news."
"In light of President Volodymyr Zelensky's call for a national day of unity, we ask the congregations to take the following actions: Gather in synagogues in each congregation for a special prayer reciting Psalms, give charity, and strive to do more good deeds and add light. In schools and kindergartens, we ask to dedicate the time between 10 a.m-11 a.m. to half an hour of special prayer for peace and tranquility in the country, adding charity, and discussing good deeds."