A funeral and a phoenix: Chabad of Kentucky buries damaged sacred books and objects, and announces plans for a new Chabad Center & Jewish Museum

By Andrew Adler
Community Editor

Expressions of sorrow and joy mingled recently at Agudath Achim Cemetery on Preston Highway.

A young onlooker gazes down at damaged books and religious items to be buried at Agudath Achim Cemetery (Photo by Andrew Adler)

Sorrow came in the form of a burial service for sacred books and religious objects damaged last year when a fire destroyed Chabad of Kentucky’s headquarters. Joy emerged via an announcement that a new Chabad Center — including a Jewish Museum — is actively being planned.

Rabbi Avrohom Litvin led the mid-afternoon ceremony, which honored Jewish law proscribing that damaged books with the name of G-d, and religious articles such as prayer shawls, be respectfully buried, never simply discarded. He was joined by fellow Chabad of Kentucky members, plus others who shared in the quiet burial service and the more animated unveiling of a large display outlining designs for the new Chabad Center. Rabbi Litvin said fundraising for the new facility has begun, and that organizers are looking for a suitable site.

“The fire was a step in a journey, and as we grieve for the books and the other religious items, today we also delight in the new ones that have taken their place,” Rabbi Litvin remarked. “When we pray to G-d, we say ‘thank you’ for all of the goodness he provided us along our journey through life together. Every ending teaches us to embrace another beginning.”



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