Rabbi Dr. Rabinowich often tells his students about his visits to “communist” Hungary and Czechoslovakia. He loves to discuss his visit to Debrecen, Hungary in 1984. It as 11 a.m., on a May morning as he entered the main synagogue of the city, weraring his usual Rabbinic attire. Sitting at the back table, all in their late 80’s, quickly placed their hands under the table with their playing cards safely out of sight, or so they thought. Dr. Nosson Dovid Rabinowich had seen their sneaky move and was very amused but said nothing. He then approached the eldest of the group, probably the dealer, and asked him all about Jewish life in Debrecen.
Rabbi Rabinowich was brought to tears when he heard from the leader/dealer, that there is a minyan every boker and erev (morning and evening). Rabbi Nosson Dovid Rabinowich took out an excellent bottle of vodka from his suitcase in the car and proceeded to have a beautiful l’chaim with his new found friends.
When he took leave from them, he told them in all sincerity, that Hashem is so delighted with them when they come to play cards in the shul the entire morning.
Hashem wants his ‘home’ to be occupied as much as possible.
Rabbi Rabinowich plans on arranging Jewish Heritage Tours to visit all of these wonderful history-laden cities in North Hungary and focus on the synagogues, some that may still be standing. The main synagogue in Debrecen is still standing in 2015! Hashem has not abandoned us.
Recommended Read: – Rabbi Dr. Nosson Dovid Rabinowich in Prague