By Hershel Rosenbluh for Anash.org
A remarkable discovery was recently made in the cemetery of Nyezhin: the matzeiva of a previously unknown granddaughter of the Mitteler Rebbe, Rivka Rasya, was uncovered and refurbished.
Rivka Rasya, who was niftar on 12 Elul 5637/1877, was the daughter of Reb Menachem Nochum, the son of the Mitteler Rebbe whom the Frierdiker Rebbe referred to as “Der Feter Nochum.”
It all began during recent renovations of the Nyezhin cemetery when a burial spot was uncovered. When the matzeiva was re-etched, it was discovered to belong to the Mitteler Rebbe’s granddaughter, Rivka, who passed away at the young age of 22.
This is a major revelation in the world of Chasidiei Chabad; there is no mention of this granddaughter in Chabad history books, nor in the genealogy trees. Because of this, there is very little information available about Rivka.
This is not the first time such a discovery has been made; Esther Miriam, daughter of the Mitteler Rebbe, is only known about today because of a similar uncovering of her matzeiva in Lubavitch. In fact, Esther Miriam wasn’t even mentioned in the genealogy tree of the Hayom Yom that includes all of the Rebbeim’s children.
Reb Nochum was married twice, first to Reb Zalman Rivlin’s daughter, and the second time to the daughter of his brother-in-law, Rav Yakov Yisroel of Cherkas. An expert told this reporter that this child may be from the second marriage, and therefore, the history unknown.
The cemetery renovations are being done by the renowned Rabbi Yisroel Meir Gabbai, who discovers and refurbishes cemeteries and matzeivos all over Eastern Europe and beyond.