Machovaya 22: Chassidim Farbreng Where the Frierdiker Rebbe Was Arrested

97 years after the Frierdiker Rebbe was arrested on 15 Sivan in his home at Machovaya 22 in Leningrad (today Petersburg), chassidim gathered in that same home for a farbrengen of chizuk and geulah.

By reporter

97 years after the Frierdiker Rebbe was arrested in his home at Machovaya 22 in Leningrad, chassidim gathered in that same home for a farbrengen of chizuk and geulah.

In Iyar of 5684, the Frierdiker Rebbe moved from Rostov to Leningrad, and after Shavuos, chassidim acquired the expansive apartment at Machovaya 22 for the Rebbe’s needs. The large apartment housed the Rebbe’s family, room for yechidus, and a shul for tefilos and farbrengens.

Three years later, on the night of 15 Sivan, the GPU stormed the Frierdiker Rebbe’s apartment and arrested him. As he describes in his diary:

“After twelve during the night between 14 and 15 Sivan, I received the last of that night’s callers… A few minutes after midnight, weary and fatigued, I washed my hands in preparation for the evening meal together with my family. Before ten minutes had passed the doorbell rang noisily. The door opened and two men rushed into the dining room, shouting: ‘We were sent by the administration of the GPU. Who is Schneersohn? Where is he?’ Within a moment a unit of armed men entered, stood in line, and awaited orders.”

After his release from prison, the Frierdiker Rebbe returned briefly to Leningrad, before moving to a Moscow suburb, Malachovka, and then out of Russia.

Recently, that very apartment, where the Frierdiker Rebbe lived for three years, was acquired by a member of the Chabad community. In honor of 15 Sivan, the day of the arrest, which the Rebbe said was the “beginning of the geulah,” local chassidim gathered for a farbrengen. Leading the farbrengen was Rabbi Yitzchok Kogan, who grew up and was active in the city under Communism, earning the nickname “The Tzaddik of Leningrad.”

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