At the End of the Journey

My last day in Ukraine. Again, this day fluctuates between past and present. I visit the last remaining functioning synagogue in Lviv (Lemberg, Lwow) and experience the grief of the people for those slained on Maidan.

Tsori Gilod (Healing Balm) Synagogue is located in the west of Lviv, in the direction of the train station. It is the last still functioning synagogue of the city, a last relic of the once large Jewish community. The design of the back site refers to the old Galician fortress synagogues, but the building dates from the 20s of the 20th Century. An old man opens. The interior of the synagogue is decorated with beautiful murals. The motifs are similar to what I know from Bukovina – lions, deers, scenes from the bible. However, the style is different. You can clearly see that the painter has experienced a solid artistic education. That makes a difference to the folkloric style in Bukovina.

In the courtyard of the synagogue some grave stones are stocked. I would like to know more, but I can not communicate with the friendly old man. I return to the city center.

Again, thousands gathered on the local Maidan, the Freedom Boulevard. They light candles and lay down flowers for those who were killed in Kyiv. Worship alternates with reports viewed on a large video screen – live reports from parliament sessions and flashbacks to the last days. Among other things, the memorial ceremony from last night on Maidan in Kyiv is broadcasted. The list of names of those slained and shot is read. Many people have tears in their eyes. I feel tears coming as well.

This picture I will take with me and I will not forget it.

The end of my recent journey is also an opportunity to say thank you. I would like to thank all those who helped me with hospitality, advice and good company. I can not name them all, partly because I do not even know their names. Besides dear friends, there were also many unknown people who were willing to answer my questions or just showed me the way to the bus station. I also want to thank my readers, all who have given me hints or have wished me good luck. It was wonderful to travel with all of you! Thank you!

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