Chasidim Return To Israel From A Chaotic Pilgrimage To Uman
09/09/13
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Thousands of Jewish pilgrims are leaving Ukraine, where their weeklong stay in Uman resulted in a fire, power shortages, a sewage flood and several arrests.

In one incident, three Israeli police officers who were sent to Uman to help police there reportedly scuffled last week with locals while off duty. An estimated 26,000 Jewish pilgrims congregate every year ahead of the Jewish New Year near the gravesite of Rabbi Nachman, founder of the Breslov hasidic movement.

According to Israel’s Channel 10, one of the officers sustained minor injuries. The officers were sent back to answer for the incident.

Pilgrims from Israel inadvertently started a fire inside their rented apartment after they had an indoor barbecue, according to Alexander Gorobech, a firefighter who was stationed in Uman as part of a special deployment.  Gorobech told the Ukrainian ICTV television station that the men who lit the fire were handed over to the Israeli police detachment.

An apartment block on Pushkin Street lost power for nearly one day because of an overload in consumption by Jewish pilgrims, according to Segodnya.ua.

On the same street in a different apartment building block, pilgrims caused the sewage system to overflow and flood the municipality’s social services center, according to Ukrainian media, including the news site Svodka.net. The visitors flushed diapers and hygienic pads down the toilet, the reports said, resulting in a flood that caused severe damage to the municipal offices located in the basement of the building.

A Jewish visitor was arrested after being spotted smoking marijuana by Ukrainian police, according to a statement by the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs. Several of his friends confronted officers, but the encounter did not turn violent, according to the news website Unian.net.

On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 4, Ukrainian police divers rescued a Jewish pilgrim who fell into a flooded quarry, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti. The drowning man was unconscious when divers pulled him from the water but regained consciousness following an emergency resuscitation procedure.

According to Segodniya.ua, Jewish pilgrimage this year broke the record set in 2011, when Uman saw 26,000 arrivals, but the Russian Jewish Congress said in a statement that attendance was lower than in previous years.

editor@jewishweek.org

editor@jewishweek.org

Last Update:

09/19/2013 - 18:39

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While I'm personally not a fan of traveling to Uman for Rosh Hashana, I find it unsettling that the only aspects of an experience which draws and inspires that many people which the Jewish Week felt compelled to address were that pilgrims caused a sewage system to overflow and a Jewish visitor was smoking pot. WOOO! Shame on you, but no surprise here.

Steve, it's your money and you can do with it what you want, but why sink $1.3 million in the Ukraine, with some of the most anti-Semitic people around (they were worse than the Germans during the Shoah). Yasher koach for your good deeds, but don't you think that there are lots of poor, hungry people in Israel who could have used your generosity? Or even here in America there are many Jews who could have used your help.

These were isolated incidents.
Uman was beautiful!!
I personaly paid for a kitchen the size of a football feild and fed 16,000 people 15 meals costing me over 1.3 million dollars of my own personal money.
I did this because I am extremly wealthy and even more generous.
I love doing good deeds and I am happy that everybody appreciated what I did for them.
A Gut Yor to all

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