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Honoring Tradition: Four Undergo Brit Mila in Siberia

OMSK, Russia - This week was a particularly active and joyous period for the Jewish community of Omsk, which has just celebrated four Brit Mila ceremonies. The circumcisions were conducted by the Chief Mohel of Russia, Ishaya Shafit, who traveled to this west Siberian city especially for this significant occasion.

Two of the community members to have undergone this important mitzvah are children attending the city's Jewish kindergarten. These boys - Mark and Yan - from now on will be known as David and Dan, the Jewish names they adopted upon completion of this vital ritual. The mother of these youngsters excitedly approached the city's Chief Rabbi Osher Krichevsky, to express her gratitude for arranging the ceremony and to let him know how happy she is to have the opportunity that had been denied to her parents under the Soviet regime - to provide her children with an authentic Jewish education. The children happily told their mother, "Now we are real Jews".

The other two to undergo the Brit Mila - Vladislav and Misha - are active members of the 'Ometz' Jewish Youth Club and regularly attend the lessons that Rabbi Krichevsky gives to provide community members with a better understand of the Torah. The young men, respectively, adopted the names Yitzchak and Moshe. This represented a thrilling event for them, just several days after having returned from an exciting tour of the Jewish sites of Poland, where they participated in the 'March of the Living'.

"The will of these children and youth to have their Brit Mila ceremony are a product of our immense educational efforts, as well as the recent tour of our young members to Poland," explained Rabbi Krichevsky. "These youth have displayed their respect for those who gave their lives in order to preserve Jewish traditions".