'I'm not afraid to die' Ukraine chief rabbi calls for world to not stay silent

Rabbi Azman was videoed clutching a torah in his synagogue


One of Ukraine's chief rabbis has issued a heartfelt plea to those outside of the country, urging them to not stay silent in the face of Russian aggression.

Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman released a video clip in which he describes the Russian bombardment of Kyiv, saying that Putin's forces are using GRAD rockets, a notoriously inaccurate type of Russian missile first developed by the Soviets in the 1960s.

In the clip, which has been widely shared on social media, Rabbi Azman said that "never in my worst nightmares would I have thought I could die by Russian shells.

"This is my home, where I grew up, I have many friends here."

The Chief Rabbi of Kyiv has also pledged to stay and care for those who are unable to flee as Russian forces continue their assault on Ukraine’s capital.

Speaking to the JC, Rabbi Jonathan Markovitch revealed a woman aged 101 and another aged 104 are among the elderly members of the community left in the city under siege from Putin’s armies.

He also explained he is helping “everybody who needs help”, Jews and non-Jews alike, including opening up his synagogue basement to anyone seeking shelter.

Rabbi Markovitch said: “Most of the people that can run, they are not staying here. I understand them.

“But we are here to help those people that cannot get out from the country. We are here, alone, with those people that cannot leave.”

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive