Ultra-orthodox Jews hoping to visit the tomb of an important Hasidic rabbi for the Jewish New Year have begun leaving the Ukraine-Belarus border. They had been holding out hope for days a travel ban would be lifted.
Hundreds of Hasidic Jewish pilgrims who have been waiting for days at the Ukraine-Belarus border began leaving Friday after authorities upheld an entry ban on foreigners due to an increase in coronavirus infections.
Ukrainian authorities estimate that 2,000 people in total had been gathered at the border this week, hoping to continue to the central Ukrainian city of Uman and visit the tomb of Rabbi Nachman, the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement.
Thousands of the ultra-Orthodox Jews visit Uman every year in September for the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana.
“There are about 700 pilgrims in front of the Ukrainian checkpoint,” compared to around 1,000 Thursday,