On our recent trip to the Ukraine for the Passover holiday, we made sure to save a day to travel to Medzhybizh to visit the grave site of the very holy Baal Shem Tov, who lived in Medzhybizh from 1742 until his passing in 1760, and was buried there in the old Jewish cemetary. Because the Baal Shem Tov is the father of Hasidism, he has many many many "children" who come to pay their regards from all over the world. That said, the trek to Medzhybizh, in the Khmelnytskyi Oblast province in Western Ukraine, is not simple, because of its location quite a distance from airports, and because the country roads in the Ukraine are quite simply a disaster. The drive to visit the Baal Shem Tov is 4 hours from Kiev and about 6 hours from Uman, but since time seems to have stopped in Medzhybizh, so too the time one invests to travel to and from this special place seems to just melt into thin air somehow.
Today, there are several Jewish hotels in Medzyybizh, so one can certainly stay over night there, and I would highly recommend it, especially in the summer season when the countryside is lush and green. I'm dreaming of going there sometime for the holiday of Shavous, which is also the anniversary (Yarzheit) of the the Baal Shem Tov's passing, so a very auspicious time to visit.
Lest I ramble too much, one of my very favorite places to visit is the historic replica of the Baal Shem Tov's shul, torn down during WW II for fire wood, but rebuilt recently and they did an amazing job, as you will see.......won't you join me?