JERUSALEM (RNS) — Four times a year for the past 10 years, Zohar Ginsberg has flown from Israel to Ukraine to pray at the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, the founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement.

Especially meaningful were his visits during Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, when tens of thousands of the rabbi’s mostly Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) followers flock to his grave in the city of Uman in central Ukraine.

So, in August, when the Ukrainian government announced Israelis should not go to Uman because of the threat of coronavirus, Ginsberg rushed to book a flight before Ukraine closed its borders. By mid-September, Ukrainian border guards had blocked the entry of hundreds of Hasidim at the Belarus-Ukraine border, The New York Times reported

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