Six Jews arrested in Uman a week ahead of big pilgrimage

September 19, 2011 17:14

Six Jewish worshipers have been arrested by police in Uman a week before the expected arrivals of tens of thousands of others. “I’m very worried,” said Chabad Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman who is one of three claiming the title Chief Rabbi of Ukraine. “Already six are arrested and that’s before everyone has arrived.”

A record number of worshipers are expected to visit the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in Uman during the high holidays this year after the Ukrainian government waived visa restrictions on Israelis.  Last year’s gathering drew about 50,000 people and was marked by chaos and violence. One Israeli was stabbed to death and dozens other visitors and locals were wounded in a series of skirmishes. “It’s a small place,” said Azman. “There’s no order and everyone is going there which leads to confrontations.”

Interior Minister Eli Yishai arrived in Kiev on Sunday to coordinate preparations for the religious gathering with local authorities.

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