Uman Mayor Against Rosh Hashanah Pilgrimage Over Coronavirus Concerns 

An aerial view of thousands at Tikkun Haklali on Erev Rosh Hashanah in Uman, last year. (Meir Chachmon)

The mayor of Uman, Oleksandr Tserbiy, has spoken against the annual pilgrimage of Breslover Chassidim for Rosh Hashanah, amid the uncertainty over the coronavirus spread developments.

Uman is the Ukrainian town where the Rebbe Reb Nachman of Breslov, zy”a, is buried, and as per his request, tens of thousands travel to Uman for Rosh Hashanah.

“Every year about 30,000 pilgrims come to Uman to celebrate Rosh Hashanah,” the mayor said in a video posted online. “But this year, the coronavirus pandemic made adjustments to our life…. It’s a very difficult situation in the world and in Ukraine. In Uman, the situation is under control…. But the arrival of a large number of foreigners from different countries could cause a coronavirus outbreak in our town.”

He expressed doubt that all those who would like to visit Uman for Rosh Hashanah would have appropriate medical certificates with negative coronavirus test results. He also said he wasn’t sure visitors would undergo the required 14-day quarantine and comply with all requirements of the adaptive quarantine Ukraine has introduced.

“The government foresees the second wave of coronavirus in September. In the current situation, I stand against the arrival of pilgrims this year,” the mayor said.

However, he noted, Uman residents’ opinion must be heard, so he suggested that people leave comments under his post and have their say on the matter.

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