By COLlive reporter
Tens of Lubavitch chassidim and bochurim spent 2 Iyar, the 185th birthday of the Rebbe Maharash, in the Russian town of Lubavitch to visit his Ohel gravesite.
Together, they davened, learned and joined a farbrengen in the same spot that was the cradle of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement for many years.
A highlight of the visit was the groundbreaking ceremony for the reconstruction of the original “Zal” study hall that served for Torah study over the years.
“Few people know this, but the Rebbe gave instructions and blessings to Rabbi Nosson Gourary, the Shliach in Buffalo, on rebuilding the buildings in the courtyard of our Rebbes,” says R’ Gavriel Gordon, who is coordinating the efforts.
Gordon says he is also in close contact with Beis Din Rabbonei Chabad in Israel as well as Chabad historians to build the Zal on the exact location and size as the original structure.
The courtyard, called Chazar Rebboseinu Nesienu, was purchased by the Tzemach Tzedek. The building on the property was burned 4 different times until a Zal was built there.
“The reconstruction idea was not possible since the post office stood there, alongside homes of locals,” says Gordon. “Only after we were able to purchase the property of the entire area have we decided to launch this project.”
He credits the Russian government with assisting this historic project. For the first time in its history, the town was given paved roads and was connected to gas lines and other infrastructure.
Gordon is planning an international campaign asking every past and present student of Tomchei Tmimim to donate $18 for the project at www.mylubavitch.org
He said the goal is to have the building fully built by 15 Elul – the day the Mitteler Rebbe arrived in Lubavitch and the day the Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim – today an international network of yeshivos – was founded.
“The new zal will be a fully active shul and beis medrash and all Yeshivos will be able to use it for farbrengens and learning during their visits to Lubavitch,” Gordon stated.