Minsk Jewish community synagogue

Chabad as wisdom

Minsk past is like an endless mystery that can be solved walking along the ancient streets of the Belarusian capital fr om morning until late at night. Many tourists come here not just to look at the city; they are also interested to discover the unknown pages of Minsk history. For example, the Jewish past of Minsk relates to such pages of history.

Jewish street

At the end of the XIX century, almost 45% of the population was Jewish in Minsk. Enterprises, cultural and educational centers of the Jewish community were located in the city. There was a Jewish street in Minsk (today it is a Kollektornaya street) wh ere Jewish schools, kindergartens were situated. Jews were engaged mainly in trade. It is known that the famous writer Sholom Aleichem visited Minsk.

Minsk synagogues

The religious life of Minsk population was quite rich at that time. An interesting fact is that there were more synagogues than catholic and orthodox churches in the capital of Belarus. The main Synagogue, or how Jews themselves called it – Choral, was located on the street which is now called Volodarskaya. It happened to be in hard lines in the XX century already, a magnificent building in the Moorish style (the photos have been preserved till the present days) was arranged into a club, then into a theatre. The fire had no mercy on the building during the Great Patriotic War, and the former synagogue, or rather, what was left of it was rebuilt into the Russian Drama Theatre named after M. Gorky.

Two synagogues have been preserved in the historical part of Minsk city nowadays. Let us get detailed on one of them - the synagogue of Minsk Jewish community. The synagogue building is located in the historical quarter of Minsk, in Kropotkin Street. There is another synagogue on Daumana, 13 B Street.

History of a synagogue

The Jewish community synagogue building in Minsk was erected in 1910. At one time there was a temple but it was closed later. Only in the 90-ies of the XX century the building was passed to Jews by right. The services are held in this synagogue for Lubavich Rebbe adherents. By the way, it was created just on the territory of Belarus in the late XVIII century. This direction in Judaism began to spread all over the world afterwards.

Time didn’t spare the synagogue building and it was in reconstruction process for a long time. But it was worth it as a wooden reliquary decorated the synagogue, the hall for prayers holding was built and “Bima” was set up after the reconstruction.

"Chabad Lubavich" community followers come to pray in the synagogue on Kropotkin Street. Chabad in Hebrew means "wisdom". So, the Jews talk about the Torah laws wisdom in the synagogue walls during the service. It is the deep understanding of the Jews holy book, the joy of its reading and understanding of the laws - that is what the destination of every Jew on this earth.

Sightseeing tours through the city can immerse the travellers in the past. Visiting Minsk Jewish community synagogue can become a discovery for many people – the discovery of the diversity of the Belarusian capital history and culture.