Tickets have already been purchased and travel agencies have already earned a pretty penny but this year too, there is someone who doesn’t approve of the influx into Uman.
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner has attacked the Jewish New Year's Eve trend of massive prostration on the grave of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov in the Ukrainian town.
He also said surprisingly that “it is completely uncertain that there is a mitzvah of prostrating on the tombs of the just.
“There are 613 mitzvot from the Torah and many mitzvahs prescribed by the rabbis, but there is no such mitzvah.”
Regarding the righteous man buried at the site, Rabbi Aviner said, “With all his greatness and holiness, his opinion has been considered individual until this very day, not only amongst Israel’s great and grand but also within Hasidism itself.”
The rabbi published his opinion in his weekly article in the "B'Ahava Ub'Emuna" synagogue bulletin.
Under the title “The Land of Israel and not Uman,” Rabbi Aviner claimed that “leaving a family, a wife and children during Rosh Hashana is a moral problem and even a halachic (Jewish law) one.”
He also reminded that “the Rav Kook proved that there is no permission to leave Israel and to prostrate on the tombs of the just.”
An additional claim is that there are numerous graves in Israel including those of our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and our foremothers Sarah, Rivka, Rachel and Leah; which must not be cancelled out even for the rabbi from Breslov.
What about Rabbi Nachman’s promise to exclude from hell all those who visit in Uman?
“We were already acquitted from hell by Abraham… and Isaac our forefather…and moreover, our forefather Abraham sits at the entrance of hell and does not allow a circumcised person to enter…we don’t need to look for new schemes in order to be saved from hell. Are our righteous ones’ words not enough?”
Later, the rabbi quoted from Breslov Hassidism’s books which prove that one must stay in Israel during Rosh Hashana and speak of Rabbi Nachman’s students who did just that.”
“On Rosh Hashana, the people of the land of Israel who received the honor to settle in the land of life…do not need to travel to Uman.
“It is explicit in our holy Torah and in the entire Bible that there is a unique Providence and special observation from the Creator, blessed be he, in Israel on Rosh Hashana (and throughout the entire year including Rosh Hashana eve); which does not exist anywhere else in the world and no creation, even a righteous person or a prophet can change this and say differently than what is written in this verse,” he said.