Cross defaced near grave of Rabbi Nachman in Ukraine

By JTA
August 17, 2013 00:09

 
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A cross near the gravesite of a Jewish sage in Uman, Ukraine, was defaced with a Hebrew inscription.

Hebrew graffiti was discovered Aug. 12 on a cross opposite the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, the 18th century founder of the Breslov hasidic movement, the Ukrainian news site allday.in.ua reported

“To exact vengeance on the gentiles,” reads the message, which was scrawled across the torso of a figure of Jesus Christ. A further inscription on Jesus’ leg reads, “Stop desecrating the name of God.”

Uman is a major pilgrimage site for followers of Rabbi Nachman, whose gravesite is the focal point of an annual Rosh Hashanah celebration. Last year, the festivities drew an estimated 40,000 Jews.

The cross was installed the summer, timed to coincide with the 1,025th anniversary of the mass conversion of medieval kingdom of Kievan Rus, the precursor of contemporary Russia and Ukraine.

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