Sukkot is the festival of happiness, guest, huts and the 4 species. Beit Juhuro's Sukkot party 2019 had all of that- plus traditional Gorksy plof.
The Party started with a delicious feast indoors since it was raining outside.The cold weather didn't bother us too much though because we celebrated together with many wonderful people, sang, danced, drank lechaims and just enjoyed the great atmosphere. After a few toasts were given, it stopped raining and the party was continued in our beautifully decorated Beit Juhuro Sukkah.
We learned that the festival Sukkot has two names: Chag HaSukkot, translated to "Festival of Booths" and Chag HaAsif, translated to "Festival of Ingathering (of crops)". The Sukkot (huts) remind us of Hashem's clouds of glory that protected our forefathers in the desert (or according to some opinions, the huts our forefathers lived in). The harvest time is a great opportunity for expressing appreciation for the bounty we enjoy....
In September we fulfilled the Mitzwa of Challah with our wonderful ladies, successfully conducted our first Hebrew Crash Course session and had the honor to welcome not one but three guest speakers at Beit Juhuro.
One of the highlights this month was the Challah baking master class with Mrs. Diana Dina Davydova which took place on the eve of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashana. Diana taught the ladies how to braid Challah and gave a lecture about this special Mitzwa. It was a great
Huge thanks to Regina Bakshiyev, Diana Daniloff, Natalie Berezner, Diana Dina Davydova and all the wonderful volunteers who made this Beit Juhuro challah bake a huge success!
Rabbi Reuven Kuklin, a famous author who regularly publishes on imrey.org, gave an inspiring class about Rosh Hashanah and personal growth, Rav Shaulov spoke about the gift of speech and Rabbi Elishevitz discussed the elections in Israel.
In August we welcomed the Chief Rabbi of Lithuania, Rabbi Kalev Krelin, hiked at beautiful mountains, spend a Shabbaton together at Beit Juhuro and continued learning about Jewish prayer. We covered the Kadish, Barechu, Kedusha and concluded our Prayer Crash Course series with the prayers said on the holidays, Hallel, Musaf the special insertions. The final program was generously sponsored by Lenny and Vera Royf in memory of Abei ben Binyomin, Mazantu bat Sevi, Rivka Ruhel bat Binyomin and Yehudis bat Shlomo.
Rabbi Kalev Krelin gave a class on the fascinating topic "Archaeology and Torah", followed by Gorsky dinner which has been generously sponsored by Yuri Ildatov in memory of his mother Galina (Gegei) Ildatov.
Praise the Lord from the earth...The mountains and all the hills, fruit trees and all cedars. (Tehilim 148)
On August 25th we had had the pleasure to hike with amazing people at Minnewaska State Park. It's great to get out of the city and experience God's natu...
While approaching the last month of the summer and already almost getting ready for the awesome months Av and Elul, we would like to look back at the amazing things that took place at Beit Juhuro in July.
It was great to have such a strong attendance our Gorsky Wednesday (where we welcomed the special guest speaker Rabbi Uri Nahum) and the new Prayer Crash Course series. In the Prayer Crash Course we discussed the Shema Israel prayer, donning of Tzitzit & Tefillin and the main Jewish prayer- the Amida. Thank you Rabbi Ephraim for the exiting classes!
Gorsky Wednesday classes in July:
Prayer Crash Course classes:
Tzitzit & Tefillin
Structure of Prayer
Rabbi Rav Ashi Adinyaguev adressed a fascinating topic: "Influnce of Kabbalah on the development of the Jewish Law" and our ladies also enjoyed an inspring class by Rabbi Zitron, who succesfully combining the topics resurrection of the dead and clothing. The class was followed by dinner.
Summer has started at Beit Juhuro and we are busy as ever hosting two Leadership programs, celebrating the giving of the Torah, traveling, learning together and much more. Let's see what happened in June:
On Shavuot, the holiday of the giving of the Torah, Beit Juhuro conducted a special all-night Shavuot Party. We learned together the whole night while enjoying delicious cheesecake among lots of other food. This event is generously sponsored by Hanna Z Adult Day Care & HSM Personal Care. Huge thanks to David Dima Azayev and his partner for sponsoring the holiday program 5th year in a row! G-d bless him and his partner and their business! They should continue prosper tremendously!
At the end of June our Leadership Fellowship group enjoyed an incredible trip to Azerbaijan, accompanied by Rabbi Ephraim and Rabbi Rav Ashi. They found long lost relatives, drank Chai in Baku, visited the Gorsky Jewish village Krasnaya Sloboda, stood by the burning mountain Yanardag, met the last Jew of Mudju...
The last day we had the unique opportunity to visit the village Mudju Haftaran and its last Jew- the living momument of what Gorsky Jewish life used to be. In the 19th Centruy Jews started to settle Mudju Haftaran making it an etirely Jewish village. They spoke Tatzki (Gorsky Jewish language that orginated from the Iranian language). In the 1950s the Jews had started to leave the village and in the 70s they moved to into different parts of the world. Their village remained until today.
We had the tremdeous honor to meet Meir, the only Jew who didn't leave. Below is a movie about the Gorsky Jewish life in Mudju Haftaran and Meir's peronal story.
Here we took a picture in Shamakhi, an ancient Azerbaijan city. Some went even more south and visited Vartashen (Oğuz ).
Our wonderful trip is coming to an end; we can't believe it's already time to return home!
Nervertheless, we are exited to go back to New York and see all of you again!
After a crazy week of touring and exploring, Shabbat was exactly what we needed.
Friday night we went to the Gorsky Synagoge in Baku, Saturday morning for Shacharit we visited the Georgian Synagoge and for Mincha we were at the Ashenazi Shul.
Wherever we went we mentioned that we are a group of Gorsky Jews from New York and expressed our appreciation to the local Jews in Baku for being so welcoming and treating us so warmly. No matter where we are all from, which languages we speak, how we look and how for how long we are already exiled, we are brothers and sisters and form one Jewish nation together. In Baku we were able to feel this unity and closeness very deeply.
During Shabbat almost all of our Leadership Fellowship participants gave Divrei Torah (short Torah speeches). Many mentioned that they didn't have any Jewish friends before they became part of the program. Now they have build strong friendships with each other and are very thankful that they have been given th...
This is Yanar Dag -- meaning "burning mountainside", or also called "eternal flame” is a hill with natural gas burning on its slope from ancient times, located 25 km to the north from Baku, in Mehemmedi village. Tall flames dance restlessly across a 10-meter stretch of hillside, making a hot day even hotter.
Then we continued to our next trip destination- the Gobustan State Reserve, located west of the settlement of Gobustan, about 40 miles southwest of the centre of Baku. It was established in 1966 when the region was declared as a national historical landmark of Azerbaijan in an attempt to preserve the ancient carvings, mud volcanoes and gas-stones in the region.
Gobustan State Reserve is very rich in archeological monuments, the reserve has more than 6,000 rock carvings, which show primitive people, camel caravans, pictures of sun and stars and many more on the average dating back to 5,000-20,000 years. The Gobustan State Reserve is UNESCO World Heritage.