Jewish Center of Ulyanovsk

After the fall of communism, every individual had to reapply for citizenship in the republic that they were currently living in. Vitally refused to recieve Russian citizenship; he felt the communists that occupied Russia for so long have been anti religious. He did not want to be a part of such an empire. Vitally decided he wanted to return to Ukraine, where he was born, and eventually make his way to Israel. He had to put his plans aside since his mother was old and she would not go. He would not leave her. This resulted in a very hard situation for Vitally, as he refused to recieve Russian documents….
Vitally loved Judaism! He wanted to pray in a Synogogue, learn Torah, and keep all the holidays properly. This was hard to do in Syzran, since there is no Rabbi there. He would walk from Syzran to Ulyanovsk, and hitch rides on the way, so he could come and spend time in the home of G-d. (Syzran is a two hour car ride from Ulyanovsk, and the weather in this region in the winter can get below -20).
On Friday, the first of Av, as the community was getting ready to start Kabalat Shabbat, Mr. Vitally Alifanova  returned his pure soul to G-d in heaven.
The Talmud teaches us that great scholars pass away on Friday. Vitally was a very holy man. He kept all of the Torah and Mitzvois for 20 consecutive years! For the first 15 years, he did it all alone, without a Rabbi or community. He taught himself so many laws, even the details of laws that are not kept today because we do not have the Temple, i.e. he kept all the laws of ritual cleanliness, so he could be ritually clean when moshiach comes, he would not walk into a home before knowing if someone has died there within the past week…)
Vitally passed away in the best place befiting him, in the home he loved the most, the Synogoguge of Ulyanovsk. It’s the home he used to walk to for many hours to reach, every holiday, for many lectures and shabbosim.
Actually, being that Vitally did not have any known close family, had he God forbid passed away in any other place nobody would have known who he was or that he passed away.
We are sure that this holy neshomo has completed his mission in this world. May his legacy live on forever.

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