ASTOUNDING: Russian Generals Travel To Remote Village To Pray At Jewish Kevarim

צילום: בית חב"ד העיירה ליובאוויטש

In a surreal scene, 15 Russian decorated former top army officers and military personnel traveled this week to the village of Lubavitch – in order to pray at the kevarim of the Tzemach Tzedek, z’tl, [Reb Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, the 3rd Lubavitcher Rebbe] and his son, the Maharash, z’tl [Reb Shmuel Schneersohn, the 4th Lubavitcher Rebbe].

Jews who were davening at the kevarim were surprised by the sight of decorated Russian officers at the site and asked them why they were there. They responded that they heard that prayers said at the tombs of the Jewish righteous were accepted so they traveled to the village on the 33rd anniversary of the Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan to pray for peace. They had fought in the Soviet-Afghan War and they prayed that another war wouldn’t occur.

The guests also visited a monument in memory of the Jews of Lubavitch who were murdered in the Holocaust as well as the restored historical Chabad buildings in the town.

“In recent years, the town of Lubavich has become a hotspot where thousands of people come every month to daven, mostly Jews, but almost every day I also meet non-Jews who heard about it from others,” said HaRav Gavriel Gordon, who is the Chabad shaliach in Lubavitch [Lyubavichi in Russian] and Moscow.

“They flock here from all over Russia and everyone is warmly welcomed. I believe that the prayers of the senior officers will also be accepted – and may prevent war.”

Rav Gordon has transformed the village – building guest houses, renovating the beis kevaros, and restoring historic Chabad buildings – with the assistance of the local government, Chief Rabbi of Russia HaRav Berel Lazar, and the Agudas Chassidei Chabad of Russia.

There are only about 200 permanent residents in the tiny village – all non-Jews. In 1926, there were 967 Jews living in the village, half of the total population. After the Germans entered the town in August 1941, they established a ghetto, and on November 4, 1941, they massacred the 483 remaining Jews.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. It makes sense for Russian generals to turn to Chabad kevurim while standing up to the “evil West”:
    Alter Rebbe took the side of the Czar during Napoleon wars and was niftar while running away from the approaching enemy troops. This was contrary to most other Chasidim and Misnagdim.

    Alter Rebbe’s position might have been politically wise – Napoleons come and go, while Russian tanks are in Belorus again! He also was thinking that Jews will be spiritually safer being slaves under a Czar than in anti-G-d democratic Europe. I think many people still share his suspicions, but still voted with their feet and moved to those evil democratic countries.

  2. The situation now (in Ukraine, probably a lead up of World War III), is NOT similar to 1939. It is similar to World War I, in 1914, where neither side which especially anti-Semitic (or especially friendly to Yidden), and Jews fought enthusiastically for both sides. From a Yiddishkeit perspective, the reason we should worry about such a war starting is that it will be bad for both Ukrainian and Russian Jews (and also for the Russians and Ukrainians, but that’s not our concern), and as in 1914, could flame out of control into a war involving almost everyone (including the United States, NATO, and Israel, as well as Russia), and even if they are trying to fight a conventional war (something like a half dozen little Afghanistans with the superpowers and superpower wannabees fanning the flames), it could end up going nuclear. While we (at least in nusach Sefard) daven for the “end”, we aren’t supposed to rush matters.

  3. I was in Lezensk Poland during an “off time” years ago with a friend of mine. All of a sudden the VP of Poland comes in and we are asked to clear out for a minute. We were told the same sort of story. The legend of the Noam Elimelech is known throughout Poland and he was coming to pray at his Kever.