Russian chief rabbi wants Moscow to urge Iran to repair Esther's Tomb

Lazar said, “I will speak to the Russian government, and ask that they ask urge the Iranian authorities to mend the tomb of Esther and Mordechai."

The Tomb of Esther and Mordechai (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/PHILIPPE CHAVIN)
The Tomb of Esther and Mordechai
(photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/PHILIPPE CHAVIN)
BERLIN: The Chief Rabbi of Russia, Berel Lazar, announced on Sunday that he will appeal to Moscow to urge Iran's regime to repair the arson-damaged Tomb of Esther and Mordechai.
Lazar said, “I will speak to the Russian government, and ask that they ask urge the Iranian authorities to mend the tomb of Esther and Mordechai," in a Zoom talk led by Aaron G. Frenkel, president of Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union states), as part of its e-learning sessions.
Lazar added that “It was an important landmark for all of Iran.”
According to Limmid FSU, it has been providing digital e-learning opportunities on Jewish, general and coronavirus topics, arranged by volunteer organizing committees of festivals around the world, from Moscow to the West Coast of the US, and from Europe to Israel.
Addressing the coronavirus pandemic, Lazar said: “We are in quarantine: Use it… It will never come back, it’s a historical moment. If we don’t use it in some way, we will not be able to teach our children anything from it. We need to find out what is important for us; we need to ask ourselves how we can help others.”
He added that the Chabad organization in Russia that he oversees is providing people with Shabbat packages. “People understand that others are thinking of them," he said. "On the wider plane this finds expression through people – and countries – actually becoming friendlier. Arguments and disagreements from before the pandemic now seem to be really not that important. People are becoming softer.”
In connection with antisemitism in Russia, Lazar said that, “There has always been antisemitism, there is antisemitism today and there always will be. But we need to engage with the antisemites and talk to them… We must not stay silent and create the impression that it is acceptable. By reacting – and we must always react – we send a message to governments at all levels that combating antisemitism is their responsibility, and they must do something about it.”
He continued that it “also depends on us: on how we behave, on what we do. We provide support to non-Jews also.”
Lazar said during the discussion that “Mount Sinai is a small mountain in the middle of the desert. The choice is not by chance: At the bottom of a small mountain, the Torah was given to the most humble, to a people who accept that they can learn – precisely by listening to each other, by caring for each other. And if we can do that now, as difficult as it may be for a people of egos and opinions, we can emerge from the coronavirus pandemic stronger and more united.”


Tags Russia