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September 6, 2022 1:01 pm
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Ukraine Embassy in Israel Again Warns Against Hasidic Pilgrimage to Uman

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Orthodox Jews outside the tomb of Rabbi Nachman in Uman, Ukraine. Photo: Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko

The Ukrainian embassy in Israel is again urging worshipers not to travel to the city of Uman ahead of the annual Hasidic pilgrimage to the tomb site of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov during September’s Jewish New Year celebration.

“When the echoes of the Russian enemy explosions on Ukraine don’t stop, we must take care of ourselves,” the Ukrainian embassy in Israel stated in a post on Facebook. “Please, avoid coming to Uman on Rosh Hashanah [the Jewish New Year], and pray that peace will return to Ukraine and the blessed pilgrimage will be renewed.”

The tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, the revered founder of the Breslover Hasidim each year attracts thousands of worshipers from Israel, the US and other countries during Rosh Hashanah, which in 2022 falls around Sept. 25 to 27. In 2021, almost 30,000 Hasidic pilgrims celebrated the holiday in Uman.

Tuesday’s warning comes just days after Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid spoke of “life-threatening danger posed by entering the area of fighting,” between Russia and war-torn Ukraine and cautioned citizens against traveling to Uman around the Jewish New Year.

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Despite the warnings in recent weeks by Israeli and Ukrainian officials about the threat of Russian strikes during the festive period, at least 100 Jewish pilgrims are reported to have arrived in Uman.

Ukraine’s domestic security service said Monday that it conducted anti-terrorist training at the religious site in Uman to step up security measures and to be able to respond quickly to possible threats in anticipation of the arrival of a large number of pilgrims during the Jewish New Year.

“Russia can use the arrival and mass gathering of pilgrims to carry out provocations,” the security service warned. “Complex training took place on the territory of an unfinished building in the Rabbi Nachman historical and cultural center to check the security of the pilgrimage site.”

“Despite all security steps taken, the Security Service of Ukraine and the National Police recommend that Hasidic pilgrims refrain from visiting Ukraine this year to celebrate Rosh Hashanah,” security officials added.

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