Celebrating Purim in Hungary
Celebrating Purim in Hungary Zsolt Demecs

Hundreds of people, most of them refugees from Ukraine, attended the Purim ceremony at the Zsilip Jewish Cultural Centre in Budapest, where they could hear Torah explanations and the Book of Esther.

Prior to the religious program, the EMIH-Hungarian Jewish Alliance held an event entitled Rattle Peace! in Jászai Mari Square. Chief Rabbi Shlomo Köves drew attention to the fact that we can fight the war spiritually, even if not physically.

A special Russian-language ceremony for Jewish refugees from Ukraine was also organized at the Zsilip Jewish Cultural Center and Synagogue. Hundreds of Ukrainian refugees listened to the Book of Esther, and before the concert of the performer Rabbi Pinhas Tsinman, who fled Kiev, they could hear Torah explanations from Rabbi Oberlander Báruch, the Hungarian leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. At the end of the event, the refugees were refreshed with a rich festive feast.

Prior to the religious program, the EMIH-Hungarian Jewish Association held a public event called Rattle Peace! in which they amplified the voice of the rattle, asking for peace. Rabbi Shlomo Köves, the chief rabbi of the EMIH-Hungarian Jewish Alliance, said that it is worth fighting for this goal.

"Even if not physically, we can fight the war spiritually," said Köves. "Just as a miracle happened 2,500 years ago and the persecuted survived instead of being destroyed, they were saved, let us hear our voice and ask for peace. With the noise of the clapper, we suppress the voice of war, we try to draw the attention of the people, the decision-makers to the fact that nothing good can be achieved with war. We try to draw the attention of God to hear our voice."

The guest of honor was Pinhas Tsinman, a rabbi of Belarusian descent who fled Kyiv. He is also a popular performer in the Jewish community. He sings about Jewish life in a reggae style. He reported on his life at the event and how he and his family fled Ukraine. Then, for example, he sang the song, "Think Good and It Will Be Good," which was also chosen as the motto of the occasion.

At the event, representatives of the EMIH institutions and invited celebrities, including actress Mónika Ullmann and photographer Luca Göbölyös, read excerpts from the Book of Esther. When the name of Haman was uttered, it was accompanied by a loud noise of rattles from the audience.

The EMIH-Hungarian Jewish Association is also constantly involved in the care of refugees. Already on the first day of the war, Chief Rabbi Shlomo Köves consulted with the Jewish leaders of Ukraine through the phone and assured the community there of his support. The CEDEK EMIH Israelite Charity Service has established two refugee homes. There, they receive those in need regardless of religious affiliation, but they can also provide kosher meals. Representatives of the EMIH last week delivered almost two tons of kosher food, meat, bakery, and dairy products to Uzhgorod, but also sent food to Romania, for example, to supply fleeing Jews.

Celebrating Purim in Hungary
Celebrating Purim in Hungary Zsolt Demecs
Celebrating Purim in Hungary
Celebrating Purim in Hungary Zsolt Demecs