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"The Ohel" is where the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, was laid to rest on the 3rd of Tammuz 5754

The Ohel: An Overview

The Ohel: An Overview

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Credit: Iitzik Roytman
Credit: Iitzik Roytman

"The Ohel" is where the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, was laid to rest on the 3rd of Tammuz, 5754 (June 12, 1994), next to his father-in-law, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Y. Schneersohn, of righteous memory.

The term Ohel (lit. "tent") refers to the structure built over the resting place of a tzaddik, a righteous person. It is also known as the tziyun (marker).

During our long, painful journey through history, the holy resting places of our righteous forebears have served as spiritual oases. While Jewish law and tradition dictate that a person direct his prayers only to G‑d, and not to any other entity, the resting place of a righteous person is considered hallowed ground, a place where ones supplication to the Almighty are heard in the merit of the holy soul connected with this place. Gravesites such as Mother Rachel's and King David's, referred to in the Bible and Talmud, have provided solace to millions.

During the Rebbe's lifetime, he would frequent the resting place of his father-in-law, the sixth Rebbe (Rabbi Yosef Y. Schneersohn) two, three, four, sometimes even six times a week, bringing people’s troubles and prayer-requests to the holy resting place. The Rebbe responded to hundreds of thousands of people by writing (in Hebrew), "I will mention [your request] at the tziyun." He would painstakingly read every single of the thousands of notes, then tear and leave them at the grave, perhaps as a physical memento of the supplicant.

Now chassidim, Jews and non-Jews from all walks of life come from around the world to the Rebbe's resting place for blessing, spiritual guidance and inspiration.

There are numerous observances related to visiting the Rebbe's resting place, such as refraining from food (though not drink) before the visit, removing leather shoes before entering the mausoleum (as did Moses before nearing the burning bush), and more.

But, most importantly, one goes not to the Rebbe without the minimal preparation of charity giving, Torah study and some degree of spiritual stock-taking.

The visitation center near the Ohel is open 24 hours a day. Click here for travel directions.

If one is unable to come in person one may join the hundreds of thousands who send letters (via postal mail, fax or e-mail) to be placed at the Ohel.

Background

"The righteous are greater in death than during their lifetime," say our Sages. Commentaries explain that while freed from their physical limitations they are able to be even more unconstrained in their concern for us left down below.

As in the Rebbe's lifetime, stories abound of miraculous reprieve resulting from a gravesite visit. This should come as no surprise as we recognize the Rebbe's life-span as a continuum of spirituality and holiness. While on this earth the Rebbe related to G‑d on higher planes, and our Sages tell us that after leaving the physical constraints this only intensifies.

But as during his lifetime, praying in the Rebbe's presence has not only a salutary, redemptive effect, but motivates and charges one to continue, indeed to strengthen, one's thought, speech and actions in the realm of goodness and kindness.

In fact, again as in the Rebbe's lifetime, many carefully observe the custom of adding a resolution to enhance one's mitzvah observance to a letter one writes to the Rebbe; these are the "conduits" through which G‑d's blessings can flow.

The visceral experience at the Rebbe's gravesite has the potential to fuse the supplicant and the Rebbe together in spirit, in an experience of unmitigated truth. One stands before the Rebbe sensitized and uplifted to examine one's relationship with G‑d and purpose on earth.

One prays for the spiritual and physical wellbeing of one's own self, one's loved ones and the entire Jewish People.

Many who remember the Rebbe go not only to pray, but to re-experience, relive the moments of spiritual elevation one had in the Rebbe's presence in his lifetime.

One cannot help but be affected, be charged with a renewed, uplifted spirit, a deep sense of renewal.

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Deborah Y Thorntonmathis Atlantic City March 31, 2017

Thank you Reply

Anonymous Atlanta October 23, 2016

Please pray for me to do ok in my new business and be able to support my family.. Vladimir son of Alexander Blinkin Reply

Tumbleweed Kansas October 22, 2016

Protection for my brothers and sisters who returned damaged from war and to those deployed Please pray for all military people in the world who have gone to war defending peace and freedom and returned damaged. Protect them from further suffering and suicide. Help them through the night and through the day. Please help me help them. Reply

Nicole Long Island NY September 4, 2016

Please pray for my cousin Susan. She is in the icu fighting strokes, cancer and seizure. Reply

Anonymous california via chabadofwesthills.com April 18, 2016

He will be for ever in our hearts. He was and he is a pride of Jewish people Reply

Jose Houston TX October 23, 2015

Please pray for my cousin Kevin Meza as he was in a car accident and is now in ICU. I ask for a speedy recovery. Amen Reply

athang granville August 13, 2015

healin prayer for my brothr please pray for my brother, he suffered mental illnes and been in the hospital now for a year. i am told by a doctor that he will take medication for the rest of his life. i have a hope that as god is a living god, he will heal him and will again live a normal life.
thank you for taking time to pray for him Reply

Yoel Ben Ari Ben Shomel, v' Channah Devorah Worcester, PA via jewishmc.com March 31, 2015

May Hashem Please G-d, grant success, happiness to my whole family and let us have success and joy. We celebrate my Daughters accession into a young woman dedicated to Torah and Jewish Values. If only I could bring my family to Israel and to have a life and success to do so. Reply

Miriam bat Chaim Houston, USA via chabadsugarland.com March 30, 2015

Israel May Israel obtain peace and may the world support the Holy Land's existence. The spirit of the Rebbe, of blessed memory, is with HaShem. May they find forgiveness for those who betrayed Israel and send them in the right direction! Reply

Pam Damsky pearl river, NY - New York via chabadjec.org September 2, 2013

Othel After reading and learning about the Ohel it is to my knowledge that I have read this and found this to be helpful and very educational to me. Reply

Anonymous August 15, 2013

response many gentiles visit the ohel, the Rebbe loved all of humanity! Reply

Sarah Los Angeles June 21, 2013

There is a way for Kohanim to visit. There are boxes with no top or bottom. The Kohain puts this barrier around himself at the Ohel. That is what I have seen. Reply

Yehuda Shurpin for Chabad.org via jewishcambodia.com June 12, 2013

Re: Cohen visiting the Ohel While there is an opinion that the standard restrictions do not apply to the bodies of holy tzaddikim. This is not the accepted halachic view.

The reason the reason why kohanim may enter the Cemetery to visit the Rebbe's Ohel is because fences separate the walkway to the gravesite from the rest of the cemetery. In the actual Ohel, the actual grave is surrounded by a wall specifically so cohanim can visit.

Note: except on days when there are many visitors, these fences are usually only from the visiting center. Reply

Anonymous cHELMSFORD, MA via jewishcambodia.com June 11, 2013

The Ohel Can a Cohain enter the Ohel, or any grave site of a righteous person? Reply

Brrrandy Ca. USA June 10, 2013

Anybody? Yes: Anybody can Visit . The Jews never thought themselves Boxed off. Everyone is welcome. The Jews are kinda known for not promoting Joiners, they never had to. But all are Welcome. And Peace is what we preach. Reply

Chabad.org Staff April 30, 2013

To Anonymous Certainly! Reply

Gershon KS via jewishhewlett.com April 30, 2013

To Fred That is certainly interesting. Where did you learn that you should not visit the cemetery too often? We always go before yartzeit and the new year, as well as before major events like weddings. Reply

Anonymous April 29, 2013

The Ohel Can a gentile visit The Ohel? Reply

Fred Savoy Hewlett, New York via jewishhewlett.com April 23, 2013

Visting the Rebbe's final resting place. I always thougt you were not to vist one's final resting place often, is it different for the Rebbe? Reply

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