NEW YORK - Tens of thousands of people are expected Cambria Heights, Queens this weekend to make a pilgrimage to the resting place of the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. July 2nd will mark 28 years since his passing. The event takes place at Old Montefiore Cemetery on Francis Lewis Blvd.
This year’s anniversary marks 120 years since his birth in Ukraine. 120 is a significant number in Jewish tradition as Deuteronomy 34:7 gives the age of Moses at his death as 120.
Visitors from around the world are making the pilgrimage. Many consider him the most influential rabbi in modern history. Followers mark the anniversary with good deeds and introspection.
It’s been over two years since many were able to visit the resting place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the last time they held an open event, a record 50,000 visitors came to the burial site, known as the Ohel.
The Rebbe's resting place is considered a place of deep spiritual sanctity and draws hundreds of thousands of visitors throughout the year.
Those marking the Rebbe’s anniversary of passing with prayers and requests for personal health and that of loved ones, economic well-being, and the peace and security of a world enduring uncertain times.
The Rebbe was born in Mykolayiv (Nikolaev), Ukraine, in 1902, and arrived in the United States from Nazi-occupied Europe in 1941. He assumed leadership of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in 1950, and is said to have sparked Judaism’s global post-Holocaust renaissance, including in Ukraine where there are nearly 400 Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries in 32 Ukrainian cities in towns.
When war broke out earlier this year, the Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries in Ukraine immediately began evacuating more than 35,000 civilians and providing humanitarian aid to those who remained in the country.