Poland - Improved Arrangements for Kohanim in Lizhensk
Poland - Good news from Lizhensk: Kohanim visiting Lizhensk will no longer have to stand on the edge of the road bordering the cemetery and take the risk at getting hit by careless drivers.
Kohanim are among the many thousands who visit Lizhensk on the yartzeit of Rebbe Elimelech, but do their sanctity are unable to enter the cemetery. Now the “Lizhensk Committee” headed by R’ Simcha Krakovsky have mapped the area and found that Kohanim can enter a small area in the open field two meters away from the road.
R’ Menashe Lipschitz explains, “Several years ago, the municipality was asked to make a traffic circle in the local market near the Kever. After digging the road, they discovered thousands of monuments that had been taken from the cemetery which had been used to pour the asphalt over. We were able to save some of the monuments that were located on the road which hadn’t been repaired. These monuments are stacked up at the edge of the local cemetery where the tzadik is buried.
“All this time we knew that the fence surrounding the cemetery was not the actual cemetery boundaries. Apparently, the fence was put up just to give a nice appearance to the cemetery, but it left a big part of the graves outside. There is a dirt path which we know for sure used to go through the cemetery which the village residents travel on with their cars. Our initial investigation shows that only the nearby road is 100% free of tumah. That’s why the Kohanim were able to stand next to it until today. To make sure no one desecrates the cemetery, we set up a temporary makeshift fence which encloses the entire area.”
Certified surveyors checked out the Lizhensk Committee’s conclusions and confirmed the area of the cemetery.
R’ Lipschitz concludes, “We found an ancient map from before the war that had on it the boundaries of the Jewish cemetery, as well as a recent version. A careful comparison shows that the cemetery extended until 2 meters from the road. In that way, we were able to finally establish the exact borders and provide a solution for the Kohanim.”
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