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Report USSR Authorities Agree to Help Safe Guard the Shrine of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

August 2, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

An American delegation of Hasidic Jews has just returned from the Soviet Union, having successfully completed discussions with Soviet authorities for the safeguarding of the shrine of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, it was reported by Rabbi Pinchas Teitz of the Jewish Educational Center here.

The shrine, located in the Ukrainian city of Uman, houses the grave of Rabbi Nachman, founder of the Breslover Hasidic movement, who selected the site as his burial grounds eight years prior to his death in 1811. It has served for over 150 years as the focal point of the world-wide Breslov movement, which–alone among Hasidic groups–has had no hereditary titular leader since Rabbi Nachman’s passing.

Information reaching the United States in recent months had indicated that the burial site was slated by Soviet authorities for inclusion in a proposed housing complex. As a result, a delegation from the New York area went to the Soviet Union to discuss the situation with the appropriate authorities, Teitz said.

The attitude of Soviet officialdom was sympathetic and understanding, especially when it was pointed out by the delegation that the site had been chosen by Rabbi Nachman because it was the burial place for the remains of the 30,000 Jewish victims of a pogrom and massacre in the early 18th Century Teitz reported.

The Soviet officials in Kiev, the regional capital, reassured the delegation that although major construction was being undertaken in Uman, it would be restricted to the city’s center, and would in no way impinge upon the shrine, which is a mile and a half from the center.

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