Hasidic Jews flock to pray at Rabbi's tomb
PR dla Zagranicy
Hasidic Jews from across the globe are descending on the town of Lezajsk in south east Poland today in a pilgrimage to the tomb of one of the founders of the Hasidic movement.
Pilgrim at Rabbi Elimelech Weisblum's grave: wikipedia
All in all, up to 3000 Jews are expected to reach Lezajsk this weekend, with pilgrims mainly drawn from Europe, Israel, America and Canada.
Pilgrims will pray at the tomb of eighteenth century rabbi Elimelech Weisblum (d.1787), who is regarded as one of the three fathers of Hasidism, the mystical branch of Orthodox Judaism that swept through Poland in reaction to the rigid academic traditions that had hitherto prevailed among Jews in the region.
Hasidic Jews believe that on the anniversary of his death tomorrow, Rabbi Elimelech Weisblum will descend from the heavens and answer the prayers of pilgrims.
These pleas are submitted in written form as kvitels – paper notes that are placed on the rabbi's grave, which in this case is located in a specially constructed building within the grounds of the town's old Jewish cemetery.
Prior to the Second World War, about 3000 Jews lived in Lezajsk. The vast majority did not survive the Holocaust. The graveyard itself, which was almost completely destroyed during the war, was reconstructed under the auspices of the Nissenbaum Foundation, together with other private donors. (nh)