In a recent column on the cemetery of Krakow one of the pictures was mislabeled as the grave of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Riminov (Rymanow). While I did visit the town of Rymanow, the grave pictured was actually that of Rabbi Natan Nata Shapira, author of the Megaleh Amukot.
The entrance of the synagogue in Rymanow. As in all towns with remnants of Jewish life a caretaker, usually a non-Jew, has the keys to the cemetery and synagogue. Often these people act as guards, caretakers, and overseers of any work being done.
Rymanow is located in the remote southeastern corner of Poland and its Jewish community dates back to the 16th century. It is mentioned in the records of the Va’ad Arba Artzot (Council of Four Lands) in the year 1594. There, Rabbi Meir ben Gedaliah of Lublin, issued a warning against the sale and overuse of wine and spirits imported from Hungary.
The grave of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh, zt”l, attendant and successor to Rabbi Menachem Mendel (1778-1847).
The beit knesset dates to around the 16th century and is in the process of being renovated. The cemetery, on a hilltop just outside the town, is home to the ohalim of the Rebbes of Rymanow, the most famous of whom was Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Riminov (d. 1815), a student of the Chassidic Master Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk (Lejask).
The interior of the Synagogue of Rymanow.
Every year on Rabbi Menachem Mendel’s yahrzeit, 19 Iyar, (34 days in the Omer), a gathering is held by Riminov Chassidim from all over the world.
The grave of Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Riminov, zt”l (d. 1815).
The next gathering will take place on Shabbat, May 24 (19 Iyar). Rabbi Avraham Reich, a direct descendent of Rav Menachem Mendel, said that the pilgrimage will start off in Krakow to commemorate the yahrzeit of the Remah on Lag B’Omer (33 days in the Omer) and then travel to Rymanow for Shabbat. He expects this year’s gathering to be the largest, since Prewar Poland, when thousands of chassidim would gather to pray at the tzaddik’s grave.
Rabbi Reich can be contacted at 718-851-8954