Sep 2, 2020

petitioning Ukraine to open Uman as a religious exception

As crazy as the entire Uman situation is, Hamodia is reporting something very weird about it.

A congressman in the USA, Congressman Jeff Duncan from South Carolina, has been workgin on collecting signatures of other representatives on a letter Asking President Trump (via Secretary of State Mike Pompeo) to pressure Ukraine to allow Jewish visitors to travel to Uman for the upcoming holiday.

Obviously he is advocating for American Jews wishing to travel to Uman, not for Israeli Jews.

The basis for the request is that while Ukraine has closed its borders, they do offer entry for a number of exceptions, such as students, diplomats and some others. Duncan is requesting the granting of a religious exception for the Jewish pilgrims.

Duncan's request would grant this exception for a small number of Jews, no more than 2000, and for a period of no longer than 5 days.

As Hamodia pointed out, Duncan represents South Carolina, not quite a bastion for religious Jews, let alone Breslav Jews. Why Duncan has taken on this effort is unknown, but good for him. And even though I say "good for him", it is still weird.

I wonder if this request for 2000 entry permits takes into account that there might be several thousand others granted entry from other places, such as Israel (supposedly a team in Israel is working on getting some allowances for travel for Breslavers), and possibly other countries as well. Putting them all together, and Uman could still be a pretty busy place this Rosh Hashana.

Funnily enough  the request for a religious exception is cute considering it is the religiosu event that prompted Ukraine to shut its borders. The religiosu event is not an innocent bystander, but is the cause of the closure. So if Duncan has his way, Ukraine will have closed its borders to prevent Breslavers from coming to Uman for a religiosu event and possibly spreading Corona, but will grant a religious exception so Breslavers can come and possibly spread corona (though in smaller numbers)

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