The Jews of Hungary resurrect the past

WHEN last week, the Jewish Telegraph reported on the reopening of two abandoned synagogues in Hungary, it reminded me of the time the father of Hungarian rabbi Szlomo Koves first entered a synagogue.

It was Simchat Torah... and he was shocked to see Jews dancing with the Torah, happy about being Jewish.

For many Hungarian Jews, Jewish identity was about trauma, according to Rabbi Koves, chief rabbi of the Chabad affiliate Association of Hungarian Jewish Communities (EMIH).

After surviving the Holocaust and enduring communist oppression, many Hungarian Jews like his parents thought it safest to let the past Jewishness die.

Just a couple of weeks ago, it was proven that the past can be resurrected for the Budapest Chabad and Orthodox communities with the reopening of the two synagogues. A community centre was also being opened.

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