Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has agreed to relax regulations requiring yeshivah students who have exemptions from military service to need to receive special permission to travel overseas for more than seven days in order to enable them to travel to Uman, Ukraine, for Rosh Hashanah.
Each year, tens of thousands of mispallelim head to the city of Uman where the kever of the Rebbe Reb Nachman of Breslov, zy”a, is located, for Rosh Hashanah.
Under law, yeshivah students – who have legal deferments – cannot fly overseas for more than seven days without approval from the Defense Ministry. These regulations put a burden on those who wish to spend Rosh Hashanah in Uman, especially this year with Rosh Hashanah beginning on Sunday night, meaning that many will need to leave Israel before the Shabbos. Only a small number of flights from Eretz Yisrael and countries in Europe will allow people the liberty of leaving after Shabbos and arriving with ample time before the onset of Rosh Hashanah.
Interior Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri asked Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman for a change in regulation, in honor of those traveling to Uman.
“I ask you to order the IDF to permit exceptions to those who travel to Uman for Rosh Hashanah to be allowed to leave the country for up to ten days – and not the current seven – without harming their legal status with the IDF,” wrote Rabbi Deri.
He added that his request is for this individual purpose only, and should not be regarded as a broader request for change in the regulations.