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Jewish New Year pilgrimage to Uman, an Israeli trend ?

The pilgrimage to Rabbi Nachman of Breslov’s tomb in Uman has this year become the subject of harsh objections from a part of the ultra-Orthodox community worried about mystical-messianic or populist brainwashing of Israelis, both religious and secular.
Ultra orthodox Jewish men pray near the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in the town of Uman, some 200 km (124 miles) south of Kiev, September 8, 2010. Thousands of Jewish pilgrims arrive every year on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, at the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in Uman. REUTERS/Konstantin Chernichkin (UKRAINE - Tags: RELIGION) - RTR2I2LA

Until recently, only a handful of devout believers made the expensive trip to Uman, Ukraine, over the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) to the grave of Breslov Hasidic sect founder Rebbe Nachman. Somehow, this custom has now spread and gone mainstream, accepted and recognized at all levels of the Jewish population. Like fasting on Yom Kippur, the New Year pilgrimage to Uman has become a kind of “commandment” fulfilled even by secularists who observe few other religious customs.

Like other phenomenon of this type, the trip to Uman does not exclude celebrities. The comedian Eli Yatzpan and the singer Lior Narkis have been spotted in Uman in the past. This year, the singer Eyal Golan made the pilgrimage before the festival, to beat the crowds.

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