At Nikolayev Funeral, Jewish Soldier’s Remains Were Laid to Rest

In Mykolaiv (Nikolayev), the Rebbe’s birthplace located in southeastern Ukraine, a particularly sorrowful funeral was held for the remains of a Jewish soldier who was killed by two missiles fired by Russian soldiers at the front line.

In Mykolaiv, located in southeastern Ukraine, a particularly sorrowful funeral was held today for a Jewish soldier who was tragically killed by two missiles fired by Russian soldiers at the front line.

The soldier, Anton Baskonschny, was so severely injured that only his legs remained intact, and these were brought to burial. “After he was hit by the first missile, the Russians fired a second one that struck his body,” the family claims.

Rabbi Sholom Gottlieb, shliach and rabbi of Mykolaiv—a port city where the Rebbe was born—organized a small minyan after the deceased was declared a “meis mitzvah” with few to join his funeral.

“It was an incredibly difficult and heartbreaking funeral for a young man who gave his life at the front,” Rabbi Gottlieb said. “Unfortunately, I did not know Anton in his lifetime; it was only after his death that his family contacted us and requested a Jewish burial.”

Rabbi Gottlieb and his family, like other shluchim in the country, have remained in the bombarded city and did not leave even during the hardest times—including months when there was no running water, forcing them to drink, bathe, cook, and do laundry using bottled water or water drawn from the river.

Rabbi Meir Stambler, chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine (FJCU), remarked that Rabbi Gottlieb is a symbol and example of a rabbi’s bravery, “who does not abandon his flock even though he could have done so long ago, because this is how the Rebbe taught us.”

He added, “Since the beginning of the war, dozens of Jewish soldiers have been killed, some of whom have not yet been brought to a Jewish burial, including those who received commendations for their battlefield excellence, like Leonid Krasnov, who was killed last year and was honored by President Zelensky. In our shul in Dnipro, led by Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky, we study and pray for the elevation of their souls, confident that they are crying out on behalf of the Jewish people from above.”

Credit: The Jewish Community of Mykolaiv

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