“I was fifty-years-old the first time I picked up a Chumash in the synagogue and began reading it backward–not knowing that Hebrew reads right to left.”
Meet Michail Yeffimovich Nevoroshkin.
“That wasn’t my first time in the synagogue, though,” said Michail, proprietor of the sole cafeteria at Southern Russia’s largest university, Don State Technical University. “As a young child, I’d visit once a year with my grandmother.”
“Grandma would purchase chickens in the market,” he explained, “and raise them on her balcony. I remember accompanying her before Passover when she brought the chicken to the Rabbi to slaughter. We took along a bag of flour too and returned home with matzohs. After Grandma finished preparing the chicken for dinner, she’d light the candles and pray, and the entire family would sit down for a humble Seder.”
“The traditions I had experienced in Grandma’s home were all I knew of our heritage. Back then, we weren’t allowed to practice Judaism publicly, but we live in different times now. Today we can embrace our nationality without fear of persecution. The children in our community have the ability to practice Judaism openly and don’t have to wait until they’re fifty to learn which way the Chumash reads.”