19-year-old Hassid drowns in Uman

Man on annual pilgrimage to Rabbi Nahman's grave died while bathing in pool near Ukrainian town, Interfax news agency says.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
October 1, 2011 19:25
1 minute read.
ADHERENTS OF Rabbi Nahman [illustrative]

Rabbi Nahman supporters airport. (photo credit: Ron Friedman)

 
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While participating in the annual pilgrimage to the grave of Rabbi Nahman of Breslov in Uman, a 19-year-old Hassid drowned over the weekend.

The Interfax news agency said the man died while bathing in a pool of water formed at an abandoned mineshaft just outside the Ukrainian town.

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“One of them died, his relatives pulled him out of the water," a local official was quoted by AFP as saying. “He was already gone.”

The man's identity could not be confirmed because of Shabbat which ended late in the evening on Saturday.

Almost 30,000 Jews from Israel and around the world traveled to the Ukrainian city for the Rosh Hashana this year. Worshipers believe spending the holiday by the grave-site of the Jewish sage who passed away in 1810 to be propitious.

In recent years the number of participants in the pilgrimage has skyrocketed thanks in part to cheap flights and a waiving of visa restrictions. This year a record number of visitors are expected to arrive at the Ukrainian city whose population doubles over the Jewish holidays. Last year overcrowding and troubled relations between visitors and locals led to several violent incidents. One Israeli was stabbed to death in a brawl. His murderer has not been apprehended.

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