YEKATERINBURG, Russia - During the first days of the new year 5766, Yekaterinburg hosted a visit by legendary mohel, Doctor Yeshaya Shafit, who visits communities throughout Russia and CIS to perform Brit Mila ceremonies. Although he visited Yekaterinburg just a month ago, at which time he performed the circumcision of several local Jews, many community members have requested Rabbi Zelig Ashkenazi to once again invite the Mohel to this Urals city.
Soon after his long and tiresome flight, Rabbi Shafit set to work in a specially-equipped room in the Synagogue. There, several newborn boys underwent their Brit Mila as did some students of the city's recently-launched 'Tomchei Tmimim' Yeshiva and several elderly men, who felt a spiritual calling to undergo this age-old ritual.
The fact that there is a need for the Mohel to frequently visit Yekaterinburg is surely a positive sign that the efforts of community leaders in Yekaterinburg are paying off and that indeed, a Jewish renaissance is occurring in this key Urals center.