Hasidic Jews visit the tomb of Rabbi Nahman, the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement, days before the Jewish New Year in the town of Uman in central Ukraine on September 16, 2020. Credit: Genya Savilov, AFP
More than 2,000 Jewish pilgrims have already arrived in Uman, Ukraine, to celebrate the Jewish New Year at the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. It is estimated that by the weekend about 10,000 people will be in the city – most of Israel.
Ukraine has already announced that it does not guarantee the safety of pilgrims and has asked that there be no travel to the city. Israeli authorities reinforced these warnings.
In the absence of flights available to Ukraine, pilgrims have been traveling to Moldova and Romania, from where they depart for Uman by bus. Due to the risk, the event will have volunteers to guarantee medical attention to the participants.
This is a tradition that has been going on since the early 19th century – when the Rabbi Nachman of Breslov passed away – and visitors often overcome all sorts of obstacles to reach the city. Even in the first year of the pandemic, when the celebration was officially banned, visitors tried to get to the rabbi's tomb.