The sense of Jewish pride and celebration was palpable to all who participated in the Shabbat services at the Alma Ata Central Synagogue.
The community-wide Kiddush and Chassidic Farbrengen which followed the Shabbat services, with the sweet melodies and soulful songs, sprinkled with gems of Torah teachings, created an inspiring loving atmosphere, energizing the participants to greater involvement in Jewish life and Jewish heritage.
After Shabbat the community was treated to a special ceremony of a "Pidyon Haben", the festive celebration of the biblical commandment of redeeming the firstborn son of a family in the community.
Simultaneously , a special delegation was dispatched to recite the traditional holy prayer of the "Shma Yisrael" at the crib of a newborn baby boy in preparation of the baby's Bris the following day.
On Sunday morning the 2nd of Nissan, the Hillula - Yohrtseit of the fifth Lubavitch Rebbe, the Rebbe Rasha"b, the community joined in the unique tradition of going outside and giving thanks and blessing to the creator for the blossoming of the trees in the new spring season.
The community joined together in the celebration of the Bris of the baby boy born to the Abramov family and the Jewish naming ceremony of the baby who was named Uriel.
The joy and happiness was enhanced by the celebration of the baby's three year old cousin who celebrated his third birthday with the traditional Chalakah ceremony and festivity.
Chief Rabbi Of Kazakhstan and Chief Lubavitch emissary to Kazakhstan, Rabbi Yeshaya E. Cohen taught the young child the Hebrew letters of the alphabet using the front page of the Tanya as is customary. While sweet candies were showered upon the young child "on behalf" of the angel Michael.
Then came the festive highlight of the first hair-cutting "Upsherenish" with community members eagerly participating and snipping a little bit of hair, inaugurating the child with Peiot and a Yarmulka- Kippa head covering.
In another section of the synagogue campus was taking place the observance of an Azkara , a tradition which is held at the end of a Shiva, mourning the passing of an esteemed woman of the community who merited to live a long life.
The evening highlighted a pre-Passover class which was masterfully given by the Chief Rabbi of Alma Ata , Rabbi Elchonon Cohen.
The day culminated with a special Farbrengen and celebration in honor of the completion of the study of the Mishnayos of the Talmud by members of the Kazakhstan Torah Kollel. Each participant shared insights into one Mishna.
The honor of the study of the final Mishnah was awarded to an active member of the Kollel, Mr. Vladimir who was celebrating his birthday.
In summation , the 48 hours of Shabbat and Sunday were filled with the vibrant celebration of Jewish life in Alma Ata Kazakhstan.
The self-sacrifice of the Rebbe's father , Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson, seventy years ago , as he was exiled to Kazakhstan and his holy resting place is in Alma Ata Kazakhstan , gave birth to the blossoming and flourishing of Jewish life and the adherence to Torah in the many Chabad House centers and Jewish communities across the Republic of Kazakhstan.