Amir Ohana, a 28-year-old Israeli husband and father of three is still reported missing in Uman, ZAKA officials report, and efforts are being intensified on his behalf. His Hebrew name for prayers to be said on his behalf for a safe return is Amir Shlomo ben Orly.
More than 40,000 Breslov Chassidim traveled from around the world to the town this holiday to pray on Rosh Hashana at the grave of the movement’s founder, Rabbi Nachman. Ohana went missing after he entered the nearby Ukraine forest to meditate on Tuesday. He has not been seen since.
A team has been flown into the town from Israel and set up a search command center, according to ZAKA, which added that there is a “medical component” to the issue that is of great concern to those who are searching for Ohana. Specially trained dogs have been added now to the search as well.
Amir Ohana was together with a friend when he first entered the forest, but the two split up for “hitbodedut” – a Chassidic form of meditation – his family reported. When his friend was unable to find him later, however, he reported him missing to both local police and Israeli security personnel.
Police searched the forest and the nearby river but local forces reportedly have not been seen in the area since their intial efforts, Ichud Breslov reported.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry has been actively involved, and said “local authorities, local police and Israeli officials have been tasked with stepping up searches” for Ohana. “The Israeli diplomatic staff in Ukraine is being reinforced in order to meet the needs of all Israelis who come to observe Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in Uman. They will help search. We are in contact with the family and hope for good results,” a spokesperson said.
“My husband loves traveling to Uman for Rosh Hashana meditation,” wrote Ohana’s wife, Meital Tohar, in a Facebook post asking for help in the search. “He disappeared into the forest… Amir my love, my heart goes out to you in prayer. Come back to me. To all who see this message, pray for my husband,” she added.
Those who have information about Ohana are asked to call 093-72-12-606 or 063-24-14-934Hana Levi Julian