United States Hasidim ask to make a ‘religious exception’ and allow up to 2 thousand pilgrims to enter Ukraine
UNN has reported it citing VA.
“American Hasidim who are hoping for an exception to the travel ban received support from 26 Republican members of the US Congress, who signed a letter asking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to urge Ukraine to let American citizens in,” the media outlet reported.
It is noted that calling on Ukraine to make a 'limited religious exception' for up to two thousand people. The letter says that Hasidim will respect the security requirements of Ukraine, including the need to 'maintain distance from the local population'.
“The decision to close the Ukrainian border has at least a dozen exceptions, including the possibility for students, diplomats and cultural figures to arrive on the invitation... We respectfully ask that you consider this request, given the excellent relations between the United States, Ukraine, and the Jewish communities. We are convinced that this limited exception, with all the associated restrictions, will allow this long-standing religious tradition to continue safely,” the letter reads.
It is indicated that Rabbi Ritti, a resident of Monse, New York, said that visiting the grave of Tzaddik Nachman on Rosh Hashanah is a key provision of Bretslov Hasidism.
“We were given a promise that the soul of everyone in another world will pray that the one who comes to his grave on Rosh Hashanah has a blessed New Year,” Rabbi Ritti said.
According to him, he has been ill with COVID-19 and has many antibodies, but is willing to comply with safety requirements such as wearing a mask, social distancing or temperature measurements.
“I have a deep respect for all faiths and believe that Ukraine has developed its travel restrictions with good intentions. But I also believe that they should find non-standard ways to meet half-way in compliance with safety measures and common-sense requirements,” said the author of the letter, US Congressman Jeff Duncan.
According to the Director of the Jewish organization Nachman Mostofsky, Hasidim waited for this for the entire year, they saved every penny they could put aside to go, and these people believe that going there will actually help them to avoid COVID-19.