Raging Fire Destroys House in Complex of Alter Rebbe’s Ohel

The home of the mashgiach kashrus of the compound of the Alter Rebbe’s Ohel caught fire and burnt just a short while before Shabbos, while his wife and children were still inside. They escaped unharmed.

A terrifying event unfolded last Friday, just an hour before Shabbos, in the compound of the Ohel of the Alter Rebbe in the city of Haditch in eastern Ukraine, when a candle in the kosher supervisor’s home caught fire while his wife and two toddlers were inside.

The woman managed to grab her children with both hands and escape through the flames that had already spread to the kitchen and living room. She rushed to the compound’s kitchen where her husband was supervising the preparation of Shabbos meals for refugees and holiday guests who had arrived, and he immediately called the local fire brigade. Ukrainian firefighters arrived to fight the flames, but it took a strenuous one-hour battle to stop the fire.

Rabbi Shneur Zalman Deutsch, the shliach to Haditch and the director of the Kiryat Rabbeinu Hagadol compound said that “The damage to the mashgiach’s house is immense. All their property, including clothing and a brand new sheitel, were burned. However, we thank G-d for the great miracle – the rescue of the woman and her children from the fire. Her courage to escape through the flames and her miraculous rescue are thanks to the Alter Rebbe’s zechus – whose husband dedicates all his time to the holy compound, even during wartime.”

Despite the ongoing war, the Haditch compound remains lively throughout the year with visitors, Jewish studies seminars, and celebrations of Yomim Tovim and yomei d’pagra. Just last week, over 100 Jews from Haditch and the surrounding villages came to the compound during Passover to stay there throughout the Yom Tov. They celebrated the holiday of freedom in the most kosher and joyful manner, both on the two Seder nights and throughout Chol Hamoed and the last two days of the Yom Tov.

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