NEW YORK (Dec. 10)
Fifteen young followers of the Bratzlaver Rebbe, all of them from Brooklyn, were en route to the Soviet Union today, to pray at the grave of the Rebbe, in Uman, Ukrainia, where he was buried after his death in 1811. The group, led by Rabbi Zvi Aron Rosenfeld, was given Soviet visas permitting the young Hassidim to spend four hours in Uman.
Nahum ben Simchah of Bratzlav was the great grandson of Israel Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hassidism, and lived in Bratzlav. He was the author of many of the tales centered about the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov. After his death, many Hassidim refused to recognize any other Rebbe, continuing to worship in the name of the Bratz-laver and making pilgrimages to the grave of their teacher.
The 15, who left New York by plane, were to change aircraft at Moscow for Kiev, whence they would go by bus to Uman. After their visit to Uman, they were scheduled to go to Israel for five days. According to word received by the Brooklyn Hassidim from a descendant of the Bratzlaver still living in Uman, the Bratzlaver’s original tombstone was destroyed during World War II, but the site has been traced and a new monument erected there.