The Vaad

The Story of Alexander the Graduate

Shalom Dear Rabbis!
We are in the month of Elul, and to make you happy, I wanted to tell you a little story about our student.
Last week, on Shabbat, I had an amazing guest, our graduate who studies in Moscow and came here on vacation.

Alexander I. began his studies with us in kindergarten, moved to the first grade, and reached grade 11 until he finished school. Alex’s mother is Ashkenazi , his father is Greek. Alex has been a great student all these years. From the fifth grade, he began to quietly observe the Torah, although his father was against it. For a long time, we persuaded his father to let him make a Brit Mila, but unfortunately, he didn’t.

After finishing school, his father did not allow him to study at the yeshiva, and Alex entered the University of Moscow, the faculty of electronics. For 4 years Alex has been living in a hostel in the same room with Russian guys.

One might think that this guy had already moved away from the Torah forever, but Hashem made it so that  his move to Moscow brought him even closer to Him. 

Firstly, being outside the home, Alex could learn Torah. He did that, he studied with us via the Internet. Quietly, he began to keep Shabbat, and when we were sitting after Shabbat table at my house, he told me how he is doing Kiddush in a hostel:

 “I live in the same room with 3 Goyim. When I can get kosher grape juice, I make Kiddush on it, if there is no juice, then on bread. Sometimes they turn off the light and I have to say Kiddush and Birkat Hamazon in the dark, but it’s all for the best, hakol te tova;  I have learned to tell them by heart. “

As soon as Alex got away from home, he was able to fulfill his old dream – to make a Brit Milah. One day He called me and said: “Please arrange a Brit for me, but I have to return to the hostel the same day. I flew to Moscow to organize a Brit for him. The Brit took place at Yeshiva Torat Haim. You should have seen how he cried with happiness, how happy he was when he was getting a brit.

An hour later, with pains, he went back to the University, said that he had made a Brit in secret from his parents, and his father would call him in the evening, and he had to show him that he is in his room at the university, and tomorrow he had to go to lessons.

On Tisha B’Av, he was at home in Baku, and so that his parents would not understand that he was fasting, he said that he had a stomach ache and he could not eat or drink anything.
But Baruch Hashem, he graduates from the university in a year. And he will go to Israel to the yeshiva. 

When he was with me on Shabbat, he said that his father would scold him because he had disappeared for a day and turned off the phone. After Havdala, I told him that he could turn on the phone and call his parents so that they would not scold him, to which he replied “I will wait another 30 minutes.” I asked him “why?” He replied: “Rabeynu Tam …”.