Virus Strands Hasidic Pilgrims on Ukraine-Belarus Border


VINNYTSIA, Ukraine — They sang. They danced. They slumped in exhaustion on their luggage. For a 2nd evening in a row, hundreds of Hasidic Jewish pilgrims remained outside along a street in between checkpoints on the border in between Ukraine and Belarus on Tuesday, stranded by coronavirus travel restrictions.

Border guards in Ukraine have reinforced the crossing the place the pilgrims are in search of to enter the nation to celebrate Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New 12 months, in the city of Uman, web-site of the grave of Rabbi Nachman, the founder of the Breslov branch of Hasidic Judaism.

As Covid-19 instances in the nation ticked up, Ukraine closed its borders final month, blocking the pilgrimage, which commonly draws tens of 1000’s of folks, numerous coming from Israel. Israeli health and fitness officials have supported Ukraine’s choice.

The pilgrims started arriving at a border crossing with Belarus on Monday afternoon, in accordance to the Ukrainian border guard services. Authorities in Belarus allow the group pass, and they gathered on a street in the buffer region in between the two border stations.

The males attempted to persuade the border guards to allow them by means of to celebrate the new 12 months, the most critical religious vacation for Hasidim. Tiny boys, wanting bored and sleepy, stood by viewing.

The pilgrims traveled to the Novi Yarylovychi border crossing right after Belarus announced that it was open, Israel Public Broadcasting said in a tweet. But the border was shut. Ukrainian authorities explained the pilgrims had been warned about the border closure beforehand.

Ukraine’s border guard services explained that 690 pilgrims had gathered along the border by Tuesday, and the agency’s director, Serhiy Deyneko, explained that a lot more had been anticipated on charter flights arriving in Belarus. Belarusian media reported a various quantity of pilgrims on the border, saying about one,500 had presently arrived.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, who is Jewish, explained that the border closure would be enforced. “The State Border Services has ample forces and suggests for reputable safety of the state border,” a presidential workplace statement explained. Guards had been reinforcing the border with a secondary barrier, numerous hundred yards within Ukraine.

Ukraine on Tuesday reported two,905 new instances of coronavirus in the previous 24 hrs. The country’s ban on foreign guests, instituted final month, is in location until eventually Sept. 28.


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