Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar accepted an invite by the Kremlin to attend a memorial event with President Vladimir Putin this past Friday in Belgorod on the condition he’d be home before Shabbos, so the Kremlin promised a plane that would fly him back on time. The short story of the rabbi’s very long day: Putin’s plane did get him to Moscow but with just 10 minutes to spare, so he ended up walking the 20 miles home, Chabad blog Collive reported.
As requested, Rabbi Lazar traveled to the town of Prokhorovka for the ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Prokhorovka. Putin and World War II veterans laid flowers at the Zvonnitsa memorial bell tower at the Prokhorovskoye Polye military-historical museum to honor the Soviet tanks which stopped Nazi forces from breaking through the Soviet Army’s defense lines, Collive said.
The plane was late in takeoff because of the celebration, arriving in Moscow only 10 minutes before sunset, not with the 60 minute window, as promised.
Collive reported: “Rabbi Lazar phoned his home, notifying them about the debacle and started walking back to his home. A government official, seeing him walk, offered him a ride. ‘We’ll do it quick. No one will know…’ the man said. The rabbi kindly declined and made the 30 km trip by foot. He was back home in the wee hours of the morning, only to wake up a short while later to lead services at the Marina Roscha Synagogue.”