The Ohel of Rabbeinu Hakadosh the Baal Hatanya in Haditch, Ukraine, draws hundreds and thousands of Jews from around the world who journey to this sacred site to pray and entreat for mercy, personal and collective salvation in the merit of the holy tzaddik.
Rabbeinu Hakadosh, founder and progenitor of the illustrious Lubavitch-Chabad chassidus restored his pure soul to his Maker on 24 Teves, 5573 (1813) and was laid to rest in the Jewish cemetery in Haditch, Ukraine. Many wonder why a man of such august stature was buried in this place, which even two centuries ago was a quiet, forsaken village, remote from the renowned burial places of venerable tzaddikim?
The story begins several months prior to the Rebbe’s passing, on Erev Rosh Chodesh Elul, 5572 (1812), at the height of the Napoleonic Wars between France and Russia. With the French army advancing rapidly toward his hometown of Liadi, the Rebbe determined to flee with his family and journey to the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk. A wrong turn on the road brought the refugees to the small town of Piena on Erev Shabbos Kodesh, 12 Teves, 5573 (1813), where the Rebbe promptly fell ill. The Baal Hatanya remained in Piena for two weeks before passing away on Motzaei Shabbos Parshas Shemos.
Alluding to his wish to be buried there, the Rebbe thrice whispered to his followers the name, “Haditch,” during his final moments on earth. With the tzaddik’s passing, his body was indeed conveyed to Haditch, a remote town in close proximity to Piena, where it was laid to rest. It was this episode that made the anonymous town of Haditch famous and transformed it into an integral place deep in the hearts of chassidim worldwide.
The Baal Hatanya’s headstone bears the following inscription: Here the Holy Ark was concealed / The great G-dly, pious, and humble Rabbi / Holy and pure, leader and pride of Ariel / Crown of Torah, fountain of wisdom / He fulfilled the righteous ways of Hashem and His statues with Israel / He fulfilled the righteous ways of Hashem and His statues with Israel / And many he brought home / Our Master, Mentor and Rabbi Shneur Zalman / Son of our Master Rabbi Baruch, who rests in Eden, He was desired in a holy place, and his soul returned to Hashem / On the first day of the week, 24 of the month of Teves, 5573 years to Creation
פה נגנז ארון הקדש / הרב הג' האלקי חסיד ועניו / קדוש וטהור ראש גולת אריאל / כתר תורה מעין החכמה / צדקת ה' עשה ומשפטיו עם ישראל / ורבים השיב מעון / אדמו"ר שניאור זלמן / במוהר"ר ברוך נ"ע / נכסף אל קדשו ושבה אל ה' נפשו / ביום ראשון בשבת כ"ד לחודש טבת / שנת התקע"ג ליצירה
Construction of the original Ohel upon Rabbeinu’s tomb commenced immediately after the burial. The Mitteler Rebbe, zy”a, describes: “We built a solid wooden dome and also a large edifice, and we prepared bricks to build a wall in his honor like on the tombs of all the forefathers and great tzaddikim to whom people flock to pray and pledge in their times of pain, for ‘Greater are tzaddikim in their deaths [than in their lives.]’”
In 5763 (2003), the Ohel underwent major renovations and has since been regularly maintained. Directly adjacent to the Ohel is an active shul (synagogue) open 365 days a year that including a spacious ezras nashim (women’s gallery). The ever-rising number of annual visitors to Haditch requires that we constantly improve and expand our accommodations and services in the region. Recently, all furniture in the Ohel was replaced, and we are currently in the process of installing additional restrooms directly outside the Ohel for the comfort and convenience of guests.
A Prayer Center operates in the Ohel, and we invite Yidden from around the world to submit requests for prayer and salvation 24 hours a day by fax or by filling out the form below. To submit your request, please fax your name and request to: +380535433701 Or fill out this computerized form below. Our representatives collect all petitions and will mention your name and request at the tziyun of Rabbeinu Hakadosh.