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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 plains, 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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Discussion (16)
September 4, 2016
Please pray for my cousin Susan. She is in the icu fighting strokes, cancer and seizure.
Nicole
Long Island NY
April 18, 2016
He will be for ever in our hearts. He was and he is a pride of Jewish people
Anonymous
california
chabadofwesthills.com
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
Jose
Houston TX
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
athang
granville
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.
Yoel Ben Ari Ben Shomel, v' Channah Devorah
Worcester, PA
jewishmc.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!
Miriam bat Chaim
Houston, USA
chabadsugarland.com
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.
Pam Damsky
pearl river, NY - New York
chabadjec.org
August 15, 2013
response
many gentiles visit the ohel, the Rebbe loved all of humanity!
Anonymous
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.
Sarah
Los Angeles
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.
Yehuda Shurpin for Chabad.org
jewishcambodia.com
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