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Ashreinu Club, Chicago

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in a zechut for neshama of Michael Gamze
- the organization, which unites Jews from the former USSR,
living in Chicago Land.

We all grew in communist "empire", where the fattened preachers thoughtfully inoculated to us the idea of wage-leveling, beginning in kindergarten. Our national traditions were stubbed almost with the roots. Yes even simply to be a Jew was, as a minimum, unfavorable. Now, thank G-d, we are here and "empire" “ordered for long to live”. We do not celebrate already on November 7, but American holydays did not become for us the holiday, which you wait with the anticipation. Yes, we still live by our structure: we dress customary Russian winter coats and eat borsch and cutlets with buckwheat, but something new appeared in our self consciousness.
There is the possibility “to straighten wings”, to be who you are, i.e. besides in all, to be a Jew. We now celebrate bar-mitzvas, we try sometimes to come to a synagogue down the holidays. But our brothers - American Jews - have different mentality. And among them it is difficult to feel yourself as a best friend or as close relative.
So what's the “Ashreinu's” goal?
I think, to try to give us that, what we did not have. Certainly, each already has a circle of contact besides “Ashreynu”, where it is possible to find the warmth and to speak to each other in Russian.
First of all, “Ashreinu” is an yidishkeit, but yidishkeit “in own special way”. Yes, the same Jewish holidays (and the like), but on our level, among the same people, people as yourself. We are not ultra-orthodox, but it is undoubtedly pleasant for Hashem that His dear children are gathered together not to on occasion, let's say, on May 1, but on Chanukka, Purim, Sukkot (and so forth), the holydays commanded to us by G-d. Pleasant for Hashem, that, we try to "touch" our Jewish roots, the values, by which as far as centuries lived our great-grandfathers, that we trying to return, after all, to yourself.
It is said by our sages: “"Shechina" rests on meeting of ten (Jews)". Indeed it is not said, only in synagogue this or in the club. Indeed, the fact that only kosher food is bought for our meetings and we try to pronounce down it blessings, definitely brings happiness to Creator. That it's offsets “of the nation of priests”, although strengthened by communists, revive again as young shoots, in spite of age 40 +.
No doubt, that at SUCH “meeting of ten” rests by G-d's presence and blessing. And with it soul sings and happiness rests on the faces.

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© 2009 Ashreinu Club,
United States of America