Jim Geraghty, senior political correspondent at National Review and a contributing Washington Post columnist, met with Moshe Reuven Azman, the 57-year-old rabbi who oversees Kyiv’s Brodsky Synagogue, during a recent reporting trip there. Before the war, the rabbi remarked to Geraghty that he was a quiet man.
According to Geraghty in the Post, “The notion of Azman as a quiet man is a little tough to align with his deep and authoritative baritone voice, his massive body, and his erudite conversational English.”
Or through the social media profile he has built up since March 2022.” Following the Russian invasion and war, Geraghty wrote, Azman has become a well-known Jewish leader who offers humanitarian aid. According to the article, the rabbi and his assistant faced criticism at one point.
Geraghty said of Azman’s musical prowess: “You will rarely find a more effusive, earnest, or full-throated musical expression of patriotism.” According to the rabbi, Kyiv’s 50,000 Jews and half of Ukraine’s 300,000 Jews have left the country.
There are 40 million people in this country, so antisemitism is unavoidable, Azman said. But the fact that the Ukrainian people elected a Jewish man as president is a miracle.
You won’t often find a more effusive, earnest, or full-throated musical expression of patriotism, Geraghty said of Azman’s musical prowess. The rabbi claims that half of Ukraine’s 300,000 Jews have left the country, including Kyiv’s 50,000 Jews.
According to Azman, antisemitism is inevitable in this country because there are 40 million Jews. But it is a miracle that the Ukrainian people chose a Jew to be their president.
Geraghty believes that Ukrainian society will have the opportunity to fully discuss whether the Azov Brigade and other groups have sufficiently expelled extremists from their ranks after the war.
Every significant individual in Ukraine is currently focused on fighting the war, according to Geraghty, who spoke to JNS. “A Russian bomb doesn’t wait to see which Orthodox Christians and Jews are underneath it.”