European Kinnus Highlight: Davening at Reb Levik’s Ohel in Kazakhstan

It’s been three almost sleepless nights and days, and the 500 Shluchim of the Rebbe that are currently in Russia at the European Kinnus Hashluchim, are on a high. They are rejuvenated and invigorated by the joy and unity that they are experiencing and they will bring that energy back with them to their cities and countries where they are the Rebbe’s foot soldiers.

First they traveled to the cradle of Chabad chassidus, the villages of Lubavitch, Liozna and Liadi. They were held up for about 3 hours at the tiny-but-oh-so-significant border between Russia and Beluarus. They spent more than 24 hours on busses. Now they were all heading together on a five-hour flight to the city of Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan, where they would visit the ohel of the great mekubal Reb Levi Yitzchok Shneerson, father of our dear Rebbe, on his yohrtzeit.

Reb Levi Yitzchok was known to have helped many, and his final resting place, far away in the city that he was exiled to, has become a place where people come to daven.

Exactly twenty five years to the day have passed since the last kinnus, and once again, the chassidim and shluchim of his son, Our Rebbe, have arrived to daven there together.

After Maariv, a siyum was made by one of the students of Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim who came to Kazakhstan as part of the Mivtza Torah Project run by the global Vaad Talmidei Hatmimim. This was followed by a farbrengen with Rabbi Berl Lazar and Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, which lasted through the night.

In the wee hours of the morning, the busses made their way to the mikva, and from there to the cemetery in Alma Ata, where giant tents had been set up to accommodate the learning and minyanim for shacharis and mincha.

Inside the Ohel, tears were flowing freely, as hundreds of shluchim sang together heartfelt nigunnim of Reb Levik, as well as the nigunnim of his son, our Rebbe. The davening there was soul stirring.

They then continued with reading the entire Maane Lashon. The Pan Kloli was read by Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky, Rebbe’s Shliach and Chief Rabbi of Dnepropetrovsk, the city where the Baal Hilula served as the devoted Rav.

Tehillim was recited, posuk by posuk, by philanthropist Levi Leviev, President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the FSU, and philanthropist Avraham Yisroel Shaulson who sponsored this trip together with philanthropist Shmuel Shtern.

It was late afternoon when the shluchim took a flight back to Moscow. There they were welcomed at the beautiful Chabad House in the Zhukovka neighborhood by the Shliach Rabbi Alexander Boroda. That evening a special printing of the Tanya took place there.

Today, Thursday, the kinus continues in Moscow with a variety of workshops, shiurim, and general session.

The Kinnus will end off with a grand farbrengen after the banquet which will take place at the lavish Europeiski Banquet Hall which is sits on the Moscow riverbank.

The kinus was organized by Merkos Leinyonei Chinuch, together with Fleishman-Peles Productions and a dedicated team of Moscow Shluchim.

Photos by Yechezkel Itkin and Itzik Roitman

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