Jewish Orgejev - Orgejev Gone

Orhei, Orhei, Moldova
Est. 2.9km / 58 mins / Map

Jewish Orgejev - Orgejev Gone - Cya On The Road

They say you're going to walk around Jewish Orhei?So you're ready to travel through space and time. Then go for it! But first, let's orient ourselves a little bit. While you are sitting comfortably at home in an armchair or already in your car, listen to how the history of Orhei/Orgei began.The Old Orhei turns into a locality and then the city of OrheiThe name "Orhei/Orhei" is famous in Moldova, but more often it is found in the combination "Old Orhei/Orheiul Vechi". What is interesting, you will not find it on the map, because now it is no longer a city, but an open-air museum, located between two villages - Trebucheni and Butucheni. Old Orhei is a historical and archaeological complex 60 km northeast of Chisinau, on the river Reut. Traces of different civilizations were found there: the Geto-Dak fortress (6th-1st centuries B.C.), the Golden Horde settlement Shehr al-Jedid (30s-60s. The city was built in the XIV century, the Orthodox monasteries (from the end of the XIV century) and the Moldovan city of Orhei (XV-XVI centuries).This museum, one of Moldova's calling cards, is becoming the first place recommended to tourists and about which there is abundant information.The current city of Orhei/Orhei arose in 1470 on the site of a former fortress and center of the Golden Horde. In 1538 the Turkish Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent destroyed the fortress, and the city was moved 12 km - to its present location, on which we will walk with you. The official date of Orhei's foundation is 1554.Jews appeared on the territory of modern Orhei in the same 16th century. They were active in trade and still engaged in the cultivation of agricultural land, which was allowed by the legislation of the Principality of Moldavia.In the 17th century, during the reign of Lord Vasile Lupu, the status of the Jewish religious community was accepted, headed by Haham Bashi, the chief rabbi. When the Cossacks of Bogdan Khmelnitsky and his son Timothy invaded the Moldovan Principality, Orhei was seized several times. In 1613 there were lootings and massacres of part of the Jewish population. It is described that Cossacks robbed a caravanserai and several taverns and killed their Jewish owners. It was the first and only pogrom of Jews in Orhei.At the end of the 18th century, shtetls, settlements of the semi-urban type, in which mostly Jews lived, emerged in the region.The notion of "locality" reflected the way of life of Jews with their everyday life and religious and cultural peculiarities. In 1791, Catherine II signed a decree on the Pale of Settlement, which defined the territory outside which Jews were forbidden to settle. Since 1812, Bessarabia was also included in the sedentarization line.At the end of the 19th century there were more than 7,000 Jews in the city, i.e. about 60% of the population. The main occupations of the Jews were crafts, trade, and rent.The construction of synagogues, which under the laws of the Russian Empire had the status of houses of worship, begins. In 1867 there were already six. At the same time the first Jewish library and the Talmud-torah for boys were opened, a Jewish hospital and almshouse were founded, and a private Jewish school operated.A little about the Holocaust. As of 1940, there were 6,400 Jews living in Orhei. Orhei was occupied by Romanian and German troops on July 17, 1941, and Jews had some opportunity to evacuate, but not all managed to escape death. It is believed that 4,000 Jews were murdered on the territory of Orhei. In 1943, there were 15 Jews in the half-destroyed city! After 1944, Orhei began to recover, and Jews began to return to the postwar city.For the Jews of Bessarabia, there was another war: an ideological one. The first victims were activists of the Zionist movement and Romanian political parties. In all, nearly 2,500 Bessarabian Jews suffered from Stalinist repression in the 1940s and '50s.Many Jews, however, were prominently involved in various areas of life. There are still stories about Orgeev's Jewish hospital.In 1989 the Orhei Jewish community was registered. She was very active. Orhei was the only city in the USSR where it was possible to catch and officially convict pogromists for vandalizing a Jewish cemetery. The community succeeded in opening a synagogue. Nevertheless, it was shrinking and aging as young people left for Israel and other cities and countries.There are currently no more than 30 Jews and their families living in the city. Even getting 10 men together for a minyan, the necessary quorum for a public worship service, has become a problem! Nevertheless, in 2022, on the initiative of the Jewish community of the Republic of Moldova, the monument "In memory of the victims of the Holocaust 1941-1945" was erected and the Orhei Jewish Museum was opened.

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