Photo Credit: David Danberg / TPS
Jewish pilgrims and Breslov Hasidim rejoice in a collective prayer at Rabbi Nachman's tomb in Uman. Oct 1, 2017.

Breslov Hassidim may not be able to make their annual Rosh Hashana pilgrimage to the tomb of their beloved Rabbi Nachman of Breslov this year in Uman.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychu announced Thursday that his country is barring visits to Uman this year for the Jewish High Holy Days. Hundreds of thousands of Jews make the pilgrimage to Uman every year ahead of the holidays to visit the gravesite.


Korniychu blamed the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine for the decision. At present, just 40 Jews remain in Uman, with the rest of the city’s Jewish population having fled in the face of a devastating and brutal war.

“Due to the concern for the lives and well-being of visitors to Ukraine and in light of the blatant Russian war in our country, despite all our efforts, we cannot guarantee the safety of pilgrims and we do not currently allow tourists and visitors to enter Ukraine,” he said.

“On this occasion we turn to you, because your prayers are important to us,” the ambassador said.

“Please pray that before Rosh Hashana the war in Ukraine, which broke out due to blatant and brutal Russian aggression, ends and pray for Ukraine’s victory. We hope the prayers will be fulfilled and that Ukraine will return to being a country that generously receives visitors from Israel, and especially Jews who come to Ukraine to visit the graves of the righteous.”

Interestingly, Ukraine has had no qualms whatsoever about Israeli and other foreign volunteers having entered the country to provide humanitarian aid, and to join in the battle against the Russian invaders.

The Ukrainian ambassador has made multiple verbal attacks against the Israeli government over what he perceives as unjust decisions on controlling the influx of Ukrainian refugees into the Jewish State.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.