Jul 15, 2020

Uman Uman Rosh Hashana.. this year too?

Uman Uman Rosh Hashana! But maybe not this year.

Covid-19 has taken a lot of victims - in lives, in lifestyles, in livelihood, in mental states, in lots of realms. It looks like a strong possibility that this years annual pilgrimage to Uman for Rosh Hashana might very well be a COVID-19 victim and all the Breslavers and all the other pilgrims to Uman might need to find somewhere else to go, or even stay home, for the holidays this year......

Because of COVID, Ukraine has been saying that it won't take pilgrims from Israel for Rosh Hashana this year. They say their hospitals are not equipped to deal with an outbreak, and Israel is a "red" country with too many infections. No final decision has been made, but everything they are saying so far looks like a no go.

Even before this, it would have required two weeks of quarantine on each end. Few people can manage to give up 5 weeks or so for a trip to Uman. But now it is looking like it isn't even a discussion.

Recently the Mayor of Uman ran a public poll on whether or not to let the pilgrims come for Rosh Hashana or if it is too risky due to COVID. The Breslavers campaigned to get people to vote yes but they lost the vote anyway by a narrow margin, of 51% to 49%. The poll was relatively meaningless. Public officials generally don't decide public policy based on a questionable Facebook poll open to anybody in the world, and I don't think the decision is up to the mayor, though he surely has some influence with those who are making the decisions.

In the meantime, Kikar is reporting that Ukraine has announced that it will not allow the pilgrims to come to Uman this year. The Foreign Minister says prayers in Uman will be allowed in some format, but not the format that has been established in previous years - there is no way they can allow tens of thousands of people to come this year.

It seems no official decision has been made yet, but it looks like the masses won't be allowed to travel to Uman this year. If they allow a small number it will be interesting to see who they allow in. In the meantime it looks like at least most will have to resign themselves to staying home this year...

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  1. I believe that there are is small group of Chassidim who live in Uman all year, many run the kosher business in town or involved in logistics for the big events like Rosh HaShana.

    I guess that they will have to represent the thousands of Chassidim who would normally go, in the same way that a handful of Cohanim represented the large numbers that normally go to the Kotel on Chol hamoed Pessach.

  2. They could have moved his body to Israel years ago...

    And even with the Breslovers being able to vote it didn't win? My.


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