BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The Chabad Synagogue in Boynton Beach got together in solidarity Wednesday for a prayer service for those fighting for their freedom and their lives in Ukraine.
"It's very difficult for me, and even more difficult for my 92-year-old mother who went through the Holocaust. It's not easy, it's not easy to watch," said Leslie Srolovits a member of the Chavad Synagogue.
Scenes of destruction brought Srolovits back to 1956 when the Soviet Union destroyed his hometown in Hungary during the Hungarian Revolution.
"I remember as a child, hiding behind a china closet as the tanks roared down a cobbled street. I peered out the window from behind the china closet and saw the turret of the tank turn and destroy with one shell the house next door to us," said Srolovits. “Be strong and we are praying for you and we will collect funds to make sure that you can survive. Hunker down, don't give up, and pray."
Meanwhile, Rabbi Sholom Ciment has a former classmate. Rabbi Levi Raices has been a Rabbi in Ukraine for 25 years.
Up until Wednesday, he chose not to evacuate to provide faith for his community.
Ciment has been receiving voice messages from his friends as the turmoil unfolds in Ukraine.
"I just gave the night order. I hear some explosions, some bombing going on. So does that mean that the peace talks failed? I have no idea," said Raices. "Everything is up in the air, the situation is not simple but hope for the best, hope for a miracle and see what happens."
Raices is a New York native and lives in Ukraine with his wife and children.
"He's in the wrong place at the right time to do exactly what he wants to do with his life and that's to help his fellow brothers and sisters, community and all good people," said Ciment. “I would want them to know that we're praying for them. I would want them to know that we're feeling their pain, I would want them to know that we're available 24-7 to do whatever they may need from us. The power of prayer is the only power that good people around the world have tonight. Good will persevere."