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09 Sep. 2023

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Rosh Hashanah 2023: why are pilgrims already arriving in Uman to celebrate the Jewish New Year despite threats?

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Rosh Hashanah 2023: why are pilgrims already arriving in Uman to celebrate the Jewish New Year despite threats?

This year, the Jewish New Year is celebrated from September 15 to 17, and one head of the Cherkasy RMA is calling on pilgrims to refrain from traveling to Ukraine. Find out why Jews from all over the world continue to travel to Ukraine despite threats from russia

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Usually, the celebration of the Jewish New Year takes place in late September or early October. This year, Jews will celebrate Rosh Hashanah from the evening of September 15 to 17. Traditionally, this will be followed by 10 days of repentance, during which, according to beliefs, God can give a person a new chance for a better life.


For most believers, this is a family holiday celebrated at home, but some Jews, especially representatives of the Hasidic sect, go on pilgrimages and come to Ukraine. 


Why do Jews travel to Ukraine for Rosh Hashanah despite the war?


Last year, despite warnings from the Ukrainian authorities and representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine, thousands of Hasidim came to Uman to celebrate the New Year. According to the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, more than 23,000 pilgrims came to celebrate Rosh Hashanah last year. For comparison, in 2021, Uman received more than 29 thousand Hasidim. That is, the direct threat from russia did not stop the vast majority of believers who wanted to preserve the traditions.


The fact is that the righteous Nachman, who was the great-grandson of the founder of Hasidism, is buried in Uman. In the last year of his life, just before the New Year, he bequeathed that believers should come to his burial place and celebrate this day with him. The righteous man is buried in the cemetery of the victims of the Jewish pogroms. At one time, the USSR authorities closed access to Nachman's burial site, but after Ukraine declared its independence, pilgrims began to come to Uman to spend the holiday with the righteous man.


In particular, representatives of the Hasidic movement believe that if they celebrate Rosh Hashanah at the burial place of their teacher, the year will be happy, and therefore they are not deterred by any warnings or risks.




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Hasidim are urged not to visit Uman: what restrictions are in place in the city?


This year, the head of the Cherkasy RMA also calls on pilgrims to refrain from traveling to Uman because of the threat of rocket attacks and possible provocations by russia, but believers have already begun to arrive in the city. Therefore, from September 11 to September 21, a special regime of entry and exit and movement in the city will be introduced:


Vehicles are prohibited from entering, in particular:


— from the M-30 highway Stryi - Ternopil - Kropyvnytskyi - Znamianka - Luhansk - Izvaryne to Uman, to Derevianka Street (the base of Standard Construction LLC);

— entrance from the M-30 highway Stryi - Ternopil - Kropyvnytskyi - Znamianka - Luhansk - Izvaryne to Uman on Kashtanova Street;

— entrance from Rodnykivka village to Uman on Pavlova Street.


The following streets are subject to enhanced control and access control, in particular


— Entrance from the M-30 highway Stryi - Ternopil - Kropyvnytskyi - Znamianka - Luhansk - Izvaryne to the city of Uman, on Derevianka Street;

— entrance from the highway M-30 Stryi - Ternopil - Kropyvnytskyi - Znamianka - Luhansk - Izvaryne to the city of Uman on Vokzalna Street;

— entrance from the highway M-30 Stryi - Ternopil - Kropyvnytskyi - Znamianka - Luhansk - Izvaryne to the city of Uman on Mykhailivska Street;

— entrance from the M-05 Kyiv-Odesa highway to the city of Uman, on Ednannia Street;

— entrance from the village of Horodetske (Palanska rural territorial community) to the city of Uman, at the intersection of Horodetske Street - Maksyma Zalizniak Street in Uman;

— entrance from Rodnykivka village (Palanska rural territorial community) to Uman, on Kyivska street, Uman.


Vehicular traffic is provided with enhanced control and access control at the entrance from the M-05 Kyiv-Odesa highway to Uman, on Vyzvolyteliv Street, for entry ONLY by Hasidic pilgrims.


In addition, from September 9 to 22, the sale of alcoholic beverages, the sale and use of pyrotechnics, including salutes, fireworks, and other explosives that create a noise effect, as well as the sale of air weapons and toys that imitate weapons, will be prohibited in the pilgrimage neighborhood.


Security measures in Ukraine for foreigners


Unfortunately, visiting Ukraine during the war is fraught with many risks, as russia is constantly shelling Ukrainian cities and resorting to horrific provocations. Therefore, when planning a trip to Ukraine, or after arriving in the country, we strongly recommend that you do not neglect your own safety and take care of proper medical insurance that covers war-related risks and basic medical care and treatment.


You can buy an insurance policy covering military risks by following the link. Read more about the benefits of this type of insurance here.


We remind you! Ukraine continues to hospitably welcome foreign tourists even during the war, and despite the threats from russia, it fascinates people coming from other continents. Read more about the trip of our 78-year-old guest from America on the eve of Ukraine's Independence Day here.


Photo: Getty Images




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