The newly-discovered graves of the rabbinical Bick family
The roads to Ukraine are desolate these days, bereft of the huge groups of worshipers flocking to pray at the many graves scattered throughout this large country.
Nevertheless, the Ohel Tzaddikim - Geder Ovos organization continues its work tirelessly for the sake of the sanctity of ancestral graves, maintaining and preserving them as befits the deceased.
During this past week, in the capacity of his work, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Gabbai, responsible for the cleanliness and upkeep of the new cemetery in Mezhibuzh, discovered several tombstones which surfaced among the wild grasses growing there and which, for many years, had been hidden from the eyes of the worshipers who frequented this cemetery.
These tombstones were revealed at the foot of the mausoleum of the rabbonim of Mezhibuzh, HaRav Shaul Yissochor Beirish Bick and his son, HaRav Tzvi Arye Bick, and gained a thorough upgrading after having been exhumed in their entirety from the ground. Rabbi Gabbai hastened to summon workers to the site and after a cement layer was poured over the area where the tombstones had been discovered, the latter were replaced on an elevated platform so as to preserve the graves themselves from the ravages of winter and the snows that frequent this area.
It should be noted that in the process of the restoration and cleaning of this cemetery, other fragments of gravestones, relics from the tombs of local rabbonim of Mezhibuzh were also discovered, having previously been exposed by HaRav Zalman Naftalis, who was very active on finding buried graves in the town cemetery. Now, recently, following an extensive restoration of the Ohel of rabbonim, the found fragments were joined to the new gravestones laid in their memory.
At the same time, two gravestones of young children from the Bick family who died before their prime and were buried close of Ohel of rabbonim. One of them bears the inscription: Here lies buried the cherished child Avrohom ben Tzvi Arye, deceased on the 4th day of Chol Hamoed Pesach 5680. The second grave bears the inscription: Here lies buried the precious child from the dynasty of the leader of the generation etc., Pinchos son of the present Rov here, deceased on the 8th of Tammuz. Both of these graves were exhumed from the earth and replaced upon a cement bed, laid down this past week upon their very original site.
In addition to the graves found under the ground, the organization has plans to continue to raise some dozens of broken, old tombstones scattered throughout the cemetery, including several belonging to the dynasty of tzaddikim hailing from the Ohev Yisroel of Apta, who resided in Mezhibuzh for many years and whose home is located behind the ancient shul of the Apta Rov, which was renovated and restored several years ago by the organization.