Photo Credit: Flash90
Hasidim on the streets of Uman on eve of Rosh Hashanah, September 6, 2021.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday issued a travel warning to Israeli citizens planning to fly to Uman in Ukraine, due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. According to the ministry, the Israeli embassy does not have a continuous presence in Ukraine these days, and consular services cannot be provided as a result.

Some 50,000 Hasidim from Israel and the whole world come to Uman every year to visit Reb Nachman of Breslov’s gravesite. Reb Nachman (1772 – 1810), the founder of the Breslov movement, and the great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, revived Hasidism by combining Kabbalah secrets with Torah study and allegoric tales.

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The explosive security situation in Ukraine, which includes aerial bombings and rockets being fired at civilian centers, poses a real and present danger to life, which is why the foreign ministry months ago called on Israelis in Ukraine to leave.

On July 7, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Israel, Yevgeny Korniychuk, announced that “in light of the ongoing military Russian aggression against Ukraine and the inability to guarantee the safety of foreigners, Ukraine cannot accept the pilgrims who come to Uman every year for Rosh Hashanah.”

“Despite all our efforts, we cannot guarantee the security of pilgrims and do not currently allow tourists and visitors to enter Ukraine,” Korniychuk added.

But the Deputy Ambassador of Ukraine to Moldova, Volodymyr Manzhola, appeared to contradict Korniychuk earlier in July when he announced that Ukraine would not ban pilgrims from entering the country and would help Hasidim who travel to Uman through Moldova.

In September 2020, a thousand Breslov Hasidim were stuck at the Belarus border with Ukraine, where police blocked their entry because of coronavirus regulations.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.