Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued another travel warning for Ukraine with an emphasis on the city of Uman and its surroundings, a site usually visited by tens of thousands of Israelis during the High Holidays, and especially Rosh HaShanah.

Followers of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, who is buried in Uman, traditionally flock to his gravesite for prayers during the High Holidays, and especially on the Jewish New Year, which is celebrated this year in three weeks’ time.

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“Due to the active war and fighting between Russian forces and Ukrainian forces, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlights the existing travel warning to Ukraine and calls on Israeli citizens to categorically avoid reaching the territories of Ukraine, including the city of Uman and its surroundings,” the statement issued on Thursday said.

A few days ago, missiles were fired into the area of ​​the city of Uman which resulted in the death of one citizen, the injury of several others, and much destruction.

The Foreign Ministry urged Israeli citizens who are in Ukraine to “leave the country’s borders immediately.”

“The explosive security situation includes the danger of bombing from the air or firing rockets at civilian settlements and areas, including in the center and west of the country, which pose a real and immediate danger to life,” the ministry warned.

Furthermore, the Ministry noted that the Ukrainian government declared a state of emergency when Russia invaded the country at the end of February, which “may lead to a restriction of freedom of movement and the imposition of a curfew on various areas, as well as increased security and policing measures taken in the various areas (including inspections, arrests, and deportation).”

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement itself requesting that Israelis not come to Uman this year due to war and their difficulty in ensuring the security and safety of worshipers.

Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman, the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine, also called on Jewish pilgrims to refrain from traveling to Uman this year due to fear of Russian attacks.

“In addition, the Israeli embassy in Kyiv does not have a continuous presence in the territories of Ukraine these days, so it will not be possible to provide full consular services and it will be very difficult to provide care in an emergency,” the Ministry cautioned.

An Israeli who usually travels to Uman every year told TPS that he is not traveling this year because of the war.

Ukraine “is not my country, I don’t know it, and God forbid something dangerous could happen,” he said.”

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.