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Grave of daughter of Breslov Hasidic movement founder vandalized in Ukraine

May 11, 2018, 0:49 UTC+3 KIEV

This is the fifth such incident over the past two years

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KIEV, May 10. /TASS/. Ukrainian vandals have destroyed for a fifth time over a period of two years the monument on the grave of a daughter of the famous teacher of Judaism, Reb Nachman of Breslov, the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement, the director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, Eduard Dolinksy, tweeted in Facebook on Thursday.

"For a fifth time over the past two years, the tomb of a daughter of the famous Tzadik Nachman of Breslov has been destroyed and desecrated most barbarically," Donlinsky wrote. "The Breslov Hasidim who arrived in Kremenchug [the city in the southeastern Poltava region - TASS] were shocked to find the tombstone that was overthrown and smashed into small pieces."

At the time of reporting, there was no official reaction to the incident from the Ukrainian Interior Ministry.

Reb Nachman of Breslov [aka Bratslav], who was born in 1772 and died in 1810, lived in the territory of today’s Ukraine. He spend the last years of his life in the town of Uman and was buried there.

His grave immediately became a site of pilgrimages for thousands of Hasidic Jews, especially at the time of Rosh Ha-Shana, the Jewish New Year.

In spite of the special status the contemporary Ukrainian authorities have given to his tomb, vandals sprayed the entrance of the burial compound with red paint and put a pig’s head inside in December 2016.

Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs says the number of anti-Semitic escapades in Ukraine redoubled in 2017 versus 2016. This increase is taking place against the background of glorification of Nazi leaders responsible for the extermination and expulsions of Jews during World War II.

Israeli experts state that Ukraine accounts for the biggest number of anti-Semitic hate incidents among the post-Soviet countries for the second year in succession. They also point to anti-Semitic propaganda in politics, acts of vandalism targeting Jewish cemeteries, outrages on public buildings and centers, and desecration of Holocaust memorials.

On the face of it, the Ukrainian authorities do not take whatever efficient measures against the vandals and qualify the anti-Semitic incidents as mere acts of hooliganism rather than hate crimes.

The crushing of the tombstone on the grave of Reb Nahcman’s daughter is not the first barbaric act on a Jewish memorial in May. According to Eduard Dolinsky, at the beginning of the month unknown attackers organized a rampage inside a prayer compound at the tomb of Rabbis Magarsho, a commentator of the Talmid, that is located in the town of Ostrog, the western Rovno region.

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