By COLlive reporter
The kloyz remained empty this year.
The yartzeit of the Ruzhiner Rebbe, R’ Yisroel Friedman OBM is regularly marked by his holy gravesite in Chernovtzy with a large pilgrimage of Chassidim who travel to Ukraine from Israel, the United States, and other countries.
This year that wasn’t possible as travel restrictions continue to be imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, on Tuesday night, the eve of his yartzeit on the 3 of Mar-Cheshvan, a limited minyan was there at his Ohel and at the beautifully renovated shul that where he served for many years.
The minyan was coordinated by Chernovtzy’s Rabbi Menachem Glitzenshtein, a Chabad Shliach, who led the minyan for Maariv and recited Kaddish, in addition to kindling a large oil lamp in memory of the great tzadik.
The Ruzhiner Rebbe lived in 19th-century Ukraine and fled to Austria after serving 2 years in prison on an unsubstantiated murder charge. It was said it was caused by Tsar Nicholas I of Russia being jealous of the Rebbe’s wealth and influence.
His sons and grandsons founded their own dynasties, collectively known as the “House of Ruzhin.” These dynasties, which follow many of the traditions of the Ruzhiner Rebbe, are Bohush, Boyan, Chortkov, Husiatyn, Sadigura, and Shtefanesht. The founders of the Vizhnitz, Skver, and Vasloi Hasidic dynasties were related to the Ruzhiner Rebbe through his daughters.