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New York - Preserving The Legacy: A Guide to 'kivrei tzadikim' In North America

Published on: May 26, 2010 05:22 PM
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Makarov Rebbe of Chicago Rebbe Yaakov Yitzchak Twersky who died in 1945  is one of the 600 listed by Kevarim.comMakarov Rebbe of Chicago Rebbe Yaakov Yitzchak Twersky who died in 1945 is one of the 600 listed by Kevarim.com

New York - Countless people travel to Eastern Europe and Eretz Yisroel to visit the kevarim of various tzadikim, yet most are not aware just how many illustrious rabbonim are buried much closer to home.  Thirty three year old Baruch Amsel of Kew Gardens Hills founded Kevarim of Tzadikim of North America approximately three years ago when he was shocked to find out that the Chofetz Chaim’s Rebbetzin was buried nearby.  Amsel, who had always been interested in kevarim, began to research which Rabbanim were buried in North America.  While his original intention was to compile a book with his findings, Amsel decided to post them on the internet and kevarim.com , an online directory featuring the locations of the kevarim of over six hundred Gedolei Yisroel was born.
The project was founded with the dual goals of preserving the memory of prominent rabbonim, while at the same time, giving people the opportunity to daven at the tzion of a tzadik during their time of need, without having to undertake the large expense of traveling abroad.  The site, which is constantly being updated with more details, features information including date of yahrtzeit, cemetery location and phone number, plot information, short biographies and pictures of the actual matzayvos.  While much of the information comes from Amsel’s painstaking research, very often relatives will contact him and provide him with pictures or more details. 
Aside from an alphabetical index to the many gravesites listed, kevarim.com is also indexed by chassidus and by state, and in some cases, even by cemetery.  Additionally, the site’s “Send A Kvitel Service ” provides an online means of hand delivering a kvitel to any one of twenty different kevarim, including those of Reb Shimon Schwab, Reb Yaakov Kamintezky, The Lubavitcher Rebbe among others.  People who live near certain cemeteries voluntarily deliver the kvitelach and Amsel has people in various locations including Detroit and Rochester who are happy to perform this mitzva for free. 
kevarim.com gets approximately one hundred thirty unique hits a day and Amsel told VIN News that Kohanim, in particular, appreciate being able to see the gravesites online, given that they can’t visit them in person.  Sadly, Amsel finds that over fifty percent of the descendants of these Rabbonim are no longer shomrei Torah u’mitzvos and his greatest pleasure is locating a descendant who is sitting in Kollel.  Just this past week, Amsel discovered eight descendants of a Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Joseph, who was thought to have no living descendants at all.
Amsel told VIN News “There are so many big tzaddikim, buried right here in America.  My goal is to preserve their history.”  Amsel hopes to one day run out of kevarim in America and is contemplating the possibility of expanding his horizons to include both Eastern and Western Europe.

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1

 May 26, 2010 at 05:29 PM Anonymous Says:

he is doing great work mr amsel may the zchus of oll the tzadikim be meigin on him
also lets not forget reb yona landau who arranges the rides to the kvorim, and makes sure that people actully go may all be blessed

2

 May 26, 2010 at 05:39 PM iish emmes says Says:

This is a class act- Really super. I have visited Rabbenu rav Pam's a'h Kever in Queens, Rabbeni yaakov Yosef a'h visited by many chassidim and a relative of rav zundel salant who was here in US as a shaliach during WWII but died of a heart attack when the family he left was killed.
Many more,
Really great service for Klal Yisroel. Thanks--Email to all your freinds the site! Kivrey Tzadiikim!!

3

 May 26, 2010 at 05:43 PM Anonymous Says:

I was looking for a kever of a tzadik last month, when googled the name of the tzadik the above mentioned web site appeared,its a great web sight, and what a great zchus for mr.Amsel

6

 May 26, 2010 at 06:10 PM Anonymous Says:

What were the circumstances that the rebbetzin of the Chafetz Chaim came to America? I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Chafetz Chaim had a son who lived in Manhattan.

7

 May 26, 2010 at 06:18 PM BERNIE Says:

Reb Baruch is a great guy and a mentsch.(Groiser Mentsch). Great web site

8

 May 26, 2010 at 06:18 PM Anonymous Says:

is Boruch Amsel the son of Mayer Amsel of Hamoar magazine?

9

 May 26, 2010 at 06:38 PM Heshy Says:

20 yrs ago I had an idea to do tours of Kivrei Tzadikim in Toronto. The Stretner Rebbe is there among other hailege yidden.

10

 May 26, 2010 at 06:45 PM Anonymous Says:

My question is how could the graves of tzadikim in North America be lost to history when most of them are 19th/20th century and not hundreds of years old as many lost graves of tzadikim in Europe or Middle East.

11

 May 26, 2010 at 07:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Great job. ashreichem shzuchisem lekach. I am sure alot of these holy rebbes havent had visitors mispallim at their holy graves for years and now in your zchus its startin again. I love your site visit it for new entries almost daily

12

 May 26, 2010 at 07:14 PM Anonymous Says:

we have to thank rabbi yuna landau who is making nashias to al the tzadikim of the previous centuries what they lived here in america or in canada with msiras nafash and no one went to them till rab yoina stood up and searched for them and for there history and gave out 2 books as a good talent writer he is wroting in the newspaper the yid or the news report and give interviews on great kol maveser (a popular news hot line for heimishe listeners). and make the people interested to go and his making almost every chodesh big nasiahs I went with him 2 times to buffolo and 5 times to rav hakolel who is buried in queens he is making the whole nasiah interesting with his knowledge THANK YOU RAB YONA

13

 May 26, 2010 at 07:14 PM Hopefully Says:

Lets hope that israel doesnt decide for any reason to dig out these kevarim!

14

 May 26, 2010 at 07:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

is Boruch Amsel the son of Mayer Amsel of Hamoar magazine?

He is the grandson of Reb Mayer Amsel Z'L of the Hamoer, who was a great Tzadik and was niftar 2 years ago at the age of 100

15

 May 26, 2010 at 07:22 PM Anonymous Says:

How about trying to visit daily the living gravesite known as a gemorah. That is buried by many people. They don't look into it. Cut the business of running around looking for kvorim. Sit and learn.

Everybody complains about the Hasids that they go to tishen which is a waste of time. These same people are running around days and days looking for new graves to visit. Common alittle achdus with the living while learning.

16

 May 26, 2010 at 07:28 PM Shmuela Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

My question is how could the graves of tzadikim in North America be lost to history when most of them are 19th/20th century and not hundreds of years old as many lost graves of tzadikim in Europe or Middle East.

There were a lot of Jewish communities that no longer exist - all of them had Rabbis who are now forgotten
Great job Baruch - keep it up

17

 May 26, 2010 at 07:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Rav Burech Amsel, Shlita, is a huge mentch and a grosse Talmid Chuchum. He is probably one of the Lamed Tes Tzadidkim of this generation yet no one realizes it. People should go to him for bruchos.

18

 May 26, 2010 at 07:58 PM shimon Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

What were the circumstances that the rebbetzin of the Chafetz Chaim came to America? I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Chafetz Chaim had a son who lived in Manhattan.

http://kevarim.com/rabbi-aaron-kagen/#more-775

19

 May 26, 2010 at 07:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

How about trying to visit daily the living gravesite known as a gemorah. That is buried by many people. They don't look into it. Cut the business of running around looking for kvorim. Sit and learn.

Everybody complains about the Hasids that they go to tishen which is a waste of time. These same people are running around days and days looking for new graves to visit. Common alittle achdus with the living while learning.

kshoit atzmoch vacher kach kshoit acheirim.fix yourself in then fix another one.
look up the rashi in thilim on kapitel 15 on the words lakdoishim asher baoretz heimo . its abig think to go to kivrei tzadikim .
I agree that if you learning evry second you should be only learning. but you are a big tzilyger because as long you comment here on vin you could go say a kapitel thilim at a tzadiks grave

20

 May 26, 2010 at 08:03 PM Anonymous Says:

Who decides who qualifies as a tzadik?

21

 May 26, 2010 at 08:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

Rav Burech Amsel, Shlita, is a huge mentch and a grosse Talmid Chuchum. He is probably one of the Lamed Tes Tzadidkim of this generation yet no one realizes it. People should go to him for bruchos.

I'm afraid the odds are a bit tougher than that as tradition has it that there are lamed vav tzadikim nistarim. To increase the odds a bit more, I am one of them so you are down to only 35. Of course it is quite possible that this fellow is one of the remaining 35.

22

 May 26, 2010 at 08:33 PM Anonymous Says:

There are many who believe that the Ebeshter will listen to our tfilot from wherever we daven...the time and resources invested in traveling to daven at some kever of a "great tzadik" whose information you found on the internet would be better spent on davening with true intent and kavanah (and staying off an airplane or the LI expressway).

23

 May 26, 2010 at 08:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Is there any pictures of the Chafetz Chaim's son?

24

 May 26, 2010 at 09:32 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

Rav Burech Amsel, Shlita, is a huge mentch and a grosse Talmid Chuchum. He is probably one of the Lamed Tes Tzadidkim of this generation yet no one realizes it. People should go to him for bruchos.

Lamed tes?! Where did the extra three come from?

25

 May 26, 2010 at 09:35 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #22  
Anonymous Says:

There are many who believe that the Ebeshter will listen to our tfilot from wherever we daven...the time and resources invested in traveling to daven at some kever of a "great tzadik" whose information you found on the internet would be better spent on davening with true intent and kavanah (and staying off an airplane or the LI expressway).

We don't go to kivrei tzadikim or kever avos so Hashem should listen to OUR tefilos. We do so to ask THEM to daven for us, and we can't do so from anywhere else. It's an explicit Zohar.

26

 May 26, 2010 at 09:43 PM Anonymous Says:

Will Rabbi Amsels family please stop putting in the nice comments about him. Enough please

27

 May 26, 2010 at 10:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #25  
Milhouse Says:

We don't go to kivrei tzadikim or kever avos so Hashem should listen to OUR tefilos. We do so to ask THEM to daven for us, and we can't do so from anywhere else. It's an explicit Zohar.

I guess I'm missing somthing but how do we ask a niftar to daven for US. We can ask hashem to listen to our tfilos in recognition of their acts while they were alive but frum yidden don't believe that a niftar can intercede on their behalf.

28

 May 26, 2010 at 10:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

Rav Burech Amsel, Shlita, is a huge mentch and a grosse Talmid Chuchum. He is probably one of the Lamed Tes Tzadidkim of this generation yet no one realizes it. People should go to him for bruchos.

Lamed Tes Tazdikim? that's a new one!

29

 May 26, 2010 at 10:43 PM Just Thinking Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

Rav Burech Amsel, Shlita, is a huge mentch and a grosse Talmid Chuchum. He is probably one of the Lamed Tes Tzadidkim of this generation yet no one realizes it. People should go to him for bruchos.

What's up with the people eulogizing Amsel already? He is still alive from what I understand

30

 May 26, 2010 at 11:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

Rav Burech Amsel, Shlita, is a huge mentch and a grosse Talmid Chuchum. He is probably one of the Lamed Tes Tzadidkim of this generation yet no one realizes it. People should go to him for bruchos.

Um, did you mean the Lamed Tes malachos of shabbos or the Lamed Vov tzaddikim nistarim?

31

 May 27, 2010 at 12:14 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #27  
Anonymous Says:

I guess I'm missing somthing but how do we ask a niftar to daven for US. We can ask hashem to listen to our tfilos in recognition of their acts while they were alive but frum yidden don't believe that a niftar can intercede on their behalf.

You must be confusing yidden with Protestants. We definitely DO believe that the dead can intercede for us. The Zohar says that when the world needs rain we take a sefer torah to the cemetery and ask those who are buried there to pray for us; they then go to Chevron to alert the avos and imahos, and together they ascend to the upper worlds and alert the neshamos that are on that side of what is happening, and they intercede for us. This is what Jews have done for 3300 years, ever since Yosef stopped at Kever Rachel and Kalev went to Mearas Hamachpela.

32

 May 27, 2010 at 12:59 AM Aron Says:

Reply to #26  
Anonymous Says:

Will Rabbi Amsels family please stop putting in the nice comments about him. Enough please

I don't think the comments are being made by family members.
However, I do understand the source of your error. Apparently, your personal experience has shown that only a family member would be willing to make a nice comment about you.
Quite understandable.

33

 May 27, 2010 at 12:37 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
Hopefully Says:

Lets hope that israel doesnt decide for any reason to dig out these kevarim!

I tried googling information about the Chafetz Chaim's children and I could not find anything. Anyone know who his children were and if his descendants are all religious?

34

 May 27, 2010 at 02:16 AM LF Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

How about trying to visit daily the living gravesite known as a gemorah. That is buried by many people. They don't look into it. Cut the business of running around looking for kvorim. Sit and learn.

Everybody complains about the Hasids that they go to tishen which is a waste of time. These same people are running around days and days looking for new graves to visit. Common alittle achdus with the living while learning.

Its a shame you werent around in the Dor Hamidbar to give Yehoshua and Calov advise. You also could have advised Yakov not to bother buring Rochel on the road since it would be a shame for her decendents to waste their time to daven there. I would pity you but assur lrachem al hashoitah.

35

 May 27, 2010 at 03:25 AM Anonymous Says:

I have a serious question. A Rav once told me that a Yid should not look at or read the TZION of those burried in a Bes Kever because you could damage your memory. I didn't ask for a clarification, but does that mean reading the Tzion can physically damage a person? Can someone in NY ask a Posek? Serious question. Only reply with serious answers.

36

 May 27, 2010 at 07:22 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

My question is how could the graves of tzadikim in North America be lost to history when most of them are 19th/20th century and not hundreds of years old as many lost graves of tzadikim in Europe or Middle East.

Sadly, the generation after those tzaddikim did not appreciate their legacy, and when the post-war generation came to the US they had their rebbeim from Europe and may not have known of the existence of the tzaddikim of the previous generation in the US.

37

 May 27, 2010 at 09:58 AM Anonymous Says:

Sorry, but again i feel someone has an underlying reason with this site which is to make money, or else why have the kvittel part on the website. Funny too to list people who were niftar about 30 years ago. I am sure they have family and visit the kevarim.
What should be taken into consideration and help is kevarim that are noticeably abandoned and not visited. On one of my trips to N.J., near the kevarim of the Rabbonim of Bobov( we are not Bobov) , amongst some branches are several matzaivos that are noticeably not visited and falling those should be looked into. What we saw was horrible, someone parked practially on the kever !!!!!
My father Z"L was a noted askan and involved in tzorchei zibur after the war here and in Europe. He was niftar over 40 years ago and so were others too. Will we start showing photos, listing their names and some people will be naive enough to send the website owner $ for a kvittel !?!?!?!?!?

38

 May 27, 2010 at 10:18 AM webmom Says:

i was looking for info about Rabbi Yakov Yosef--and stumbled upon this site...what a great idea! I even had them send a kvitel...yasher koach!

39

 May 27, 2010 at 10:27 AM Anonymous Says:

Rabbi Yona Landau of willi. is doing alot to bring people to those kevarim.

40

 May 27, 2010 at 10:34 AM a friend Says:

shkoiach to Reb Baruch - really a great guy - known him for years before he started the site - he did wonderful work - i've been visiting this site since it started

41

 May 27, 2010 at 10:40 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #37  
Anonymous Says:

Sorry, but again i feel someone has an underlying reason with this site which is to make money, or else why have the kvittel part on the website. Funny too to list people who were niftar about 30 years ago. I am sure they have family and visit the kevarim.
What should be taken into consideration and help is kevarim that are noticeably abandoned and not visited. On one of my trips to N.J., near the kevarim of the Rabbonim of Bobov( we are not Bobov) , amongst some branches are several matzaivos that are noticeably not visited and falling those should be looked into. What we saw was horrible, someone parked practially on the kever !!!!!
My father Z"L was a noted askan and involved in tzorchei zibur after the war here and in Europe. He was niftar over 40 years ago and so were others too. Will we start showing photos, listing their names and some people will be naive enough to send the website owner $ for a kvittel !?!?!?!?!?

Unlike some other sights the last time I checked the kvitel services is free. Stop knocking a good thing.

42

 May 27, 2010 at 10:45 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #35  
Anonymous Says:

I have a serious question. A Rav once told me that a Yid should not look at or read the TZION of those burried in a Bes Kever because you could damage your memory. I didn't ask for a clarification, but does that mean reading the Tzion can physically damage a person? Can someone in NY ask a Posek? Serious question. Only reply with serious answers.

that one's in Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128:13 in the laws of the Month of Elul - it is only a problem if the letters are in relief form and if you do read them you should recite "Ahavah Rabbah" from Shacharis (or have in mind by Shacharis that it should remove the problem). It doesn't say it causes physical damage, but that it causes forgetfulness.

43

 May 27, 2010 at 11:09 AM uncle a Says:

Reply to #33  
Anonymous Says:

I tried googling information about the Chafetz Chaim's children and I could not find anything. Anyone know who his children were and if his descendants are all religious?

He has a real live grandson, daughters son who lives in yerushalayim, and he got others in brooklyn monsey and elsewhere

44

 May 27, 2010 at 11:53 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #35  
Anonymous Says:

I have a serious question. A Rav once told me that a Yid should not look at or read the TZION of those burried in a Bes Kever because you could damage your memory. I didn't ask for a clarification, but does that mean reading the Tzion can physically damage a person? Can someone in NY ask a Posek? Serious question. Only reply with serious answers.

If the writing is raised, it should not be read aloud. No problem with looking at it. But that's why matzevos are made with engraved writing, not raised.

45

 May 27, 2010 at 12:00 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #37  
Anonymous Says:

Sorry, but again i feel someone has an underlying reason with this site which is to make money, or else why have the kvittel part on the website. Funny too to list people who were niftar about 30 years ago. I am sure they have family and visit the kevarim.
What should be taken into consideration and help is kevarim that are noticeably abandoned and not visited. On one of my trips to N.J., near the kevarim of the Rabbonim of Bobov( we are not Bobov) , amongst some branches are several matzaivos that are noticeably not visited and falling those should be looked into. What we saw was horrible, someone parked practially on the kever !!!!!
My father Z"L was a noted askan and involved in tzorchei zibur after the war here and in Europe. He was niftar over 40 years ago and so were others too. Will we start showing photos, listing their names and some people will be naive enough to send the website owner $ for a kvittel !?!?!?!?!?

The site is free of charge - on a side note why are you so angry?

46

 May 27, 2010 at 12:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #35  
Anonymous Says:

I have a serious question. A Rav once told me that a Yid should not look at or read the TZION of those burried in a Bes Kever because you could damage your memory. I didn't ask for a clarification, but does that mean reading the Tzion can physically damage a person? Can someone in NY ask a Posek? Serious question. Only reply with serious answers.

According to the Ari z"l, one should not read the wording on a kever if it is embossed - ie not engraved into the stone, as we do today - as this will damage one's memory. As I recall, no reason is given for this.

47

 May 27, 2010 at 12:39 PM Shmuela Says:

Reply to #37  
Anonymous Says:

Sorry, but again i feel someone has an underlying reason with this site which is to make money, or else why have the kvittel part on the website. Funny too to list people who were niftar about 30 years ago. I am sure they have family and visit the kevarim.
What should be taken into consideration and help is kevarim that are noticeably abandoned and not visited. On one of my trips to N.J., near the kevarim of the Rabbonim of Bobov( we are not Bobov) , amongst some branches are several matzaivos that are noticeably not visited and falling those should be looked into. What we saw was horrible, someone parked practially on the kever !!!!!
My father Z"L was a noted askan and involved in tzorchei zibur after the war here and in Europe. He was niftar over 40 years ago and so were others too. Will we start showing photos, listing their names and some people will be naive enough to send the website owner $ for a kvittel !?!?!?!?!?

2 things - why does it bother you if someone does this for parnusa? and the other thing is the "send a kvittel" is free

48

 May 27, 2010 at 02:38 PM Bina. Says:

He should have lots of brocho and shalom

49

 May 27, 2010 at 03:07 PM Ich shaym zich oych nisht Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

What were the circumstances that the rebbetzin of the Chafetz Chaim came to America? I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Chafetz Chaim had a son who lived in Manhattan.

Rav mendel Zaks I believe son in law

50

 May 27, 2010 at 03:12 PM iish emmes says Says:

Reply to #37  
Anonymous Says:

Sorry, but again i feel someone has an underlying reason with this site which is to make money, or else why have the kvittel part on the website. Funny too to list people who were niftar about 30 years ago. I am sure they have family and visit the kevarim.
What should be taken into consideration and help is kevarim that are noticeably abandoned and not visited. On one of my trips to N.J., near the kevarim of the Rabbonim of Bobov( we are not Bobov) , amongst some branches are several matzaivos that are noticeably not visited and falling those should be looked into. What we saw was horrible, someone parked practially on the kever !!!!!
My father Z"L was a noted askan and involved in tzorchei zibur after the war here and in Europe. He was niftar over 40 years ago and so were others too. Will we start showing photos, listing their names and some people will be naive enough to send the website owner $ for a kvittel !?!?!?!?!?

You must be motivated to do everything "for gain of money or other". Do u give away "ice in the wintertime?' The site and kvitle are free!! there is some tyre yeedin, like your father a'h in the world. Too bad u di not get your father's middah

51

 May 27, 2010 at 03:53 PM David Says:

It's so fitting that Nuchem & Rifkie are rewarded with a son in law who follows in their ways of being Oiskim Betzorchei Tzibbur.

52

 May 27, 2010 at 03:56 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #37  
Anonymous Says:

Sorry, but again i feel someone has an underlying reason with this site which is to make money, or else why have the kvittel part on the website. Funny too to list people who were niftar about 30 years ago. I am sure they have family and visit the kevarim.
What should be taken into consideration and help is kevarim that are noticeably abandoned and not visited. On one of my trips to N.J., near the kevarim of the Rabbonim of Bobov( we are not Bobov) , amongst some branches are several matzaivos that are noticeably not visited and falling those should be looked into. What we saw was horrible, someone parked practially on the kever !!!!!
My father Z"L was a noted askan and involved in tzorchei zibur after the war here and in Europe. He was niftar over 40 years ago and so were others too. Will we start showing photos, listing their names and some people will be naive enough to send the website owner $ for a kvittel !?!?!?!?!?

Reb Baruch B"H has a good job and just does this for a mitzvah, not for money - although even if he did I would not say it would be anything wrong with it but the fact is that he doesn't

53

 May 28, 2010 at 12:51 AM 25 Says:

millhouse- the ran in drashos haran says that its completely assur to ask a niftar to daven for you (its a form of avodah zarah). Rather, just as anything a tzadik uses in his life is holy (he quotes a gemara about the stick of a tanna having kedusha) and therefore can bring one closer to hashem, even the resting place of his earthly body is holy and its resting place can be used as a way of getting closer to hashem. However onee must be careful to be aware that they are not requesting anything from the tzadik, rather they are using the place since it itself has more kedusha than other places.

54

 May 28, 2010 at 05:49 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #53  
25 Says:

millhouse- the ran in drashos haran says that its completely assur to ask a niftar to daven for you (its a form of avodah zarah). Rather, just as anything a tzadik uses in his life is holy (he quotes a gemara about the stick of a tanna having kedusha) and therefore can bring one closer to hashem, even the resting place of his earthly body is holy and its resting place can be used as a way of getting closer to hashem. However onee must be careful to be aware that they are not requesting anything from the tzadik, rather they are using the place since it itself has more kedusha than other places.

This contradicts an open Zohar, so it's a nullity. Either you're misquoting the Ran, or the Ran was unaware of this. Either way, it's wrong.

55

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