By COLlive reporter
A delegation of people spent 2 days this week touring the old Jewish cemetery in the Russian town of Lubavitch trying to uncover some of its lost history.
Leading the group was Rabbi Abe Dovid Gurevich, a Lubavitcher chossid who has served as a Shliach in Tashkent and Chief Rabbi of Uzbekistan.
Rabbi Gurevich worked to discover the holy gravesites of the 3rd and 4th Rebbes of the Chabad-Lubavitch – the Tzemach Tzedek, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn (1789–1866), and the Rebbe Maharash, Rabbi Shmuel Schneersohn (1834–1882), of blessed memory.
Rabbi Gurevich’s efforts back in 5728 (1967-1968) were successful and he was also able to construct a fence around the cemetery that has been established in the early 19th century.
There are about 200 gravestones at the cemetery, among them Rebbetzins Sterna, Shaina and Mushka, as well as the Tzemach Tzedak’s son Rabbi Baruch Shalom Schneersohn, the Rebbe Maharash’s son Avraham Sender.
Joining Rabbi Gurevich were Rabbi Yitzchok Gelbstein, CEO of the Chevra Kadisha in Jerusalem; Rabbi Yisroel Meir Gabay, Chairman of Oholei Tzadikim which works to preserve Jewish gravesites; Rabbi Levi Yitschok Mondshine, Shliach in the nearby city of Smolensk; and Rabbi Sholom Dovber Kubichek who researches Chabad history.
They were welcomed by R’ Gavriel Gordon, the Shliach who oversees operations in the Lubavitch town. “We checked all areas of the cemetery and will be presenting our findings to the rabbis of Beis Din Rabbonei Chabad in Israel to made decisions based on the instruction of the Rebbe,” Gordon told COLlive.com.
Recent preservation work at the cemetery is being supported by New York philanthropist Yossi Popack with the assistance of R’ Mendel Levin and Moshe Rubin of the Geder Avos organization.