The JewishPress.com has sent Hana Levi Julian to the Ukrainian border with a United Hatzalah mission, to report on the refugees, the Jewish aid efforts and the situation in Ukraine. This is one of the reports in a series of diary entries of what Hana is witnessing.
The Jewish rescue holiday of Purim began tonight, and as we rode back from an hours-long stint at the Planca border crossing between Moldova and Ukraine, it became clear we would reach Kishinev far too late to hear Megillah reading.
It was just at that point that United Hatzalah spokesperson Raphael Poch produced his kosher Megillah scroll.
Bear in mind that the roads between the border and the capital city are pockmarked with potholes, bumps and dips that make any ride a rollercoaster at best. Trying to read my own Megillat Esther under these conditions felt a little like reading a Torah scroll on a bucking bronco (no, I have never done either).
The task did not faze Poch in the slightest, and he read with ease, stopping only for ringing cellphones and talking passengers (yes there were a few). One wonders what the Moldovan bus driver must have thought, however, especially when he arrived at our destination only to have to wait for the reading to end.
The mitzvah concluded, we still had time to make it to the Purim bash at the local Radisson hotel, where kosher fare was welcome indeed to famished volunteers after the long day of helping refugees with medical issues and with planning their next move.
The UH teams were making a late night of it, but that won’t be an excuse to be late for the early morning refugee registration prior to the Purim flight to Israel — where the second Megillah reading will be held on the plane.