Abandoned synagogue gives shelter in Ossetian war
By Yuras Karmanau
Associated Press, Aug 22, 2008
Tskhinvali, Georgia - When Georgian rockets began falling on this sleepy capital of the breakaway province of South Ossetia, Zemfira Tibilova and her neighbors ran to a century-old brick synagogue. During four days of fighting in the town, she said, four dozen Orthodox Christians hid in the building's dark basement with little food and water.
"These holy walls protected us," said Tibilova, 60. "God is still present here."
When the Georgian army launched an offensive late on Aug. 7 seeking to regain control of the region, about 50 people on Tskhinvali's Shaumian Street — mostly women and children and several elderly men — grabbed all the bread and water they could carry and took refuge in the synagogue.