Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Bringing in Shabbos in Bulgaria

Ari Greenspan and Ari Z Zivotofsky

There was no eiruv, no Sefer Torah, and the town’s only shul hadn’t had a cleaning in more than 60 years. But that didn’t stop Mishpacha’s intrepid travelers from fulfilling a promise they had made last year: bring Shabbos to the people of Pazhardik, Bulgaria.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

When we journeyed to Plovdiv, Bulgaria, last year, we conducted a Shabbaton in one of the only two functioning shuls in the entire country. It was the first time in recent memory that the Jews of Plovdiv had a community Shabbos with meals, davening, and shiurim. Afterward, we stopped in a small town called Pazhardik. There, smack in the center of town, stood a polished looking building that on the inside was gathering dust. Constructed in 1850, this had been the local shul for decades, a reminder that at times this town’s population was over 30 percent Jewish.

During the Communist era the building was first used as a local history museum, and then it was sporadically used as a warehouse. It had not been used for prayer since the 1940s. Looking through rusty metal grates and cobwebbed windows and stymied by a huge lock, Ari G. decided that this shul would once again hear the singing of Lecha Dodi and the reading of the Torah. A year later that happened, and this is the story.



To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.




Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you