יום רביעי י"ז בשבט תשפ"ב 19/01/2022
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  • The Mission Continues

    As in the past so it remains today - we were and still are under the selfsame commitment to adhere to the directions of the Gedolei Yisrael, who stand guard against breaches of purity threatening our camp. When we were required to ask – we asked. When we were instructed to depart – we left. The moment we are summoned back to raise the flag, every other consideration is pushed to the side and we answer: We are ready!

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בראי היום

  • Harav Yisrael Friedman zy”a, the Rebbe of Husyatin

    מוטי, ויקיפדיה העברית

    The ancestral chain of Harav Yisrael Friedman, the founder of the Husyatin chassidic court, originates with the holy Baal Shem Tov. The Husyatin chassidus has its roots in Galicia and eventually came to Tel Aviv, during the turbulent years between the two World Wars.

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  • Maccabi'im Gravesite

    In honour of Chanukah, we will discuss a fascinating, ongoing investigation attempting to establish the place of burial of Mattisyahu Kohen Gadol and his family.

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In Jewish Sites

Lizhensk

The gravesite of Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk serves as a center of attraction for thousands of Jews in need of salvations and comfort, which they find at the gravesite of the holy Rabbi.

Mordechai Zeevi 01/06/2009 12:00
On the 21st of Adar, 5547, the world lost a precious and unprecedented asset; Rabbi Elimelech's holy soul ascended the heavens to be gone forever.

Rabbi Elimelech spread the light of Chassidus throughout Galicia and led his large flock of Chassidim from his residence in Lizhensk. After his passing, he was laid to rest in his hometown of Lizhensk, Galicia. Thousands of Jews from all over the world visit his gravesite each year.

Rabbi Elimelech was renowned for his extraordinary humbleness, and the following story is often told to illustrate it: The Ba'al HaTanyah, founder of the Chabad dynasty, once happened upon the house of a Rabbi who opposed Chassidus. He found the composition of Rabbi Elimelech, the 'No'am Elimelech', disgracefully discarded under a bench in the room, called for the master of the household, and said: 'You should know that if you would have thrown the author of this book himself under the bench – he would not have uttered a word and not been offended. From this fact one can learn a great deal about the high spiritual level of Rabbi Elimelech'.

The reason so many Jews flock to his gravesite lies in the fact that Rabbi Elimelech has promised that whoever visits his gravesite, will not pass away without repenting, and will merit great salvations. Many stories are told about elderly, ill people who, despite their miserable state, did not die, since they had previously visited Rabbi Elimelech's gravesite and would not die until they had fully repented. Once they expressed remorse for their evil deeds, their soul immediately left their bodies.

Several leading Rabbis have expressed what a great merit it is to visit the gravesite of Rabbi Elimelech, including Rabbi Shlomo of Radomsk, who famously exclaimed: "On the Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Elimelech, Rabbi Elimelech hovers over his grave and blesses with his two hands each and every Jew who comes to pray at his gravesite."

Chassidim relate that during WWII, when the cursed Nazis entered Lizhensk, they saw a large group of Jews praying at the gravesite of Rabbi Elimelech. As they approached the Jews, the Jews were petrified and escaped. The Nazis began desecrating the grave and removed the stone which covered the grave of Rabbi Elimelech. When they uncovered the grave, they saw the body of Rabbi Elimelech, whole and complete, radiating with a heavenly light. The Nazis were so terrified that they immediately fled, leading to the escape of all the Jews who had stood near the grave. After the war, a tent was erected over Rabbi Elimelech's gravesite which stands to this day.

The gravesite of rabbi Elimelech is constantly crowded with people throughout the year. According to tradition, Rabbi Elimelech has requested not to ascend to elevated spheres in heaven so that he may be close to the Jewish People in this world.

Due to the constant demand of thousands of people who come to pray at the gravesite, a synagogue and a studying hall were established nearby, as well as a Mikvah and a guest house where hot meals are served every day. Except for the Yahrtzeit, when the site is open around the clock, during other occasions the site is closed and one has to ask the gentile guard who supervises over the site to open it.

As the Yahrtzeit on the 21st of Adar approaches, the little village of Lizhensk arouses from its slumber and becomes full with activity through the thousands of Jews who visit Lizhensk in order to pray at the gravesite of Rabbi Elimelech. Today there are specially organized flights directly to the site, with some of them offering return-flights on the very same day. During the Yahrtzeit it is possible to rent guest rooms and safes for the depositing of valuables. The synagogue and guest house are active around the clock and serve thousands of hot, kosher meals each day to accommodate all the visitors.