Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tzion of Kedushas Levi Attacked in Ukraine

Tzion of R' Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev Attacked in Ukraine by Ezra HaLevi

The tomb of chassidic master Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev was vandalized with swastikas and Nazi slogans Monday.

Several nearby graves at the Jewish cemetery in the Ukranian village were vandalized as well.

The walls of the building atop the rabbi’s tomb were spray-painted with nationalist Ukranian slogans in addition to swastikas and anti-Jewish messages. Local Jews say the tomb itself was also attacked, and its windows smashed last Saturday, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Though Ukrainian police are investigating, no arrests have been made.

Rabbi Levi Yitzchok (1740-1810), known as the Berdichever Rebbe, was one of the main disciples of the Maggid of Mezritch. He was known as the Jewish people’s "defense attorney" in Heaven as it was believed that he could intercede on their behalf before G-d. One of the most beloved leaders of Eastern European Jewry, he authored the chassidic classic Kedushas Levi, a commentary on Jewish religious books and laws arranged according to the weekly Torah portion.

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