Jewish Protests in Ukraine Disturb Traffic
Hundreds of Hasidic Jews staged a protest and blocked the border crossing between Ukraine and Belarus Monday night after they were refused entry into Ukraine by local authorities. In videos posted online, dozens of families attempting to travel from Israel to the city of Uman for the Rosh Hashana holiday could be seen walking, dancing and singing on the highway leading to the crossing, their luggage strewn on the roadside. Ukrainian officials, who reported traffic was stopped Monday night for several hours because of the disturbance, could be seen supplying the shelterless protesters with food and water as the evening set in. Despite the Israeli government’s calls to avoid traveling to Ukraine, and despite Ukraine’s declaration that it would ban all entry of Israelis in the coming weeks because of COVID-19 concerns, thousands of Jews have traveled to the Eastern European country in an attempt to perform the annual pilgrimage to the site of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov’s grave in Uman.