Kiev – Ukraine To Charge Breslovers Substantial Admission Fee In Uman?

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    FILE - Ultra orthodox Jewish men pray close to the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in the Ukrainian city of Uman, some 200 km (124 miles) south of Kiev September 29, 2008. ReutersKiev, Ukraine – Breslover Chasidim worldwide are up in arms after a recent announcement that the Ukranian Parliament is considering charging admission to the kever of Rebbe Nachman in Uman.

    According to reports on Israeli news site Ynet.com, the proposed entrance fee to the site would be approximately $100 per day. Admission to the site would be controlled by a magnetic card, with all fees collected used to maintain and secure the site. For the thousands of chasidim who make the annual trek to Uman for Rosh Hashana, the additional cost for the typical five day visit could prove to be prohibitive.

    Breslover Chasidim are preparing to fight the proposed fee, which was tabled by Parliament last week. One Breslover who lives in Uman told Ynet that it was Breslover rabbanim and askanim who suggested the entrance fee to Parliament, in the hopes that they themselves would win the needed approvals to run the site and potentially turn a hefty profit.

    “No one in Israel would try to charge an entrance fee to the kever of Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meiron,” said the Uman resident. “Here, too, there should be freedom of religion and freedom to worship. Unfortunately, some of our good friends are taking part in this effort and are hoping to take over for all of Breslov.”

    The Uman resident also alleged that the Ukranian government has never spent any money to improve the site of Rebbe Nachman’s kever in Uman or done anything to benefit the thousands of pilgrims who flock to the site annually.

    “It’s not enough that they make substantial profits from the Chasidim who come every year, now they want to add on additional taxes.”
    FILE - A group of ultra-orthodox hasid Jews carry their luggage as they arrive to a prayer at the grave of Rabin Nachman, founder of Bratslav Hasidism, in Uman, a small Ukrainian town some 200 km from Kiev, 06 September 2002.  EPA
    One of the Breslovers named as an instigator of the plan told Ynet that he had just heard of the proposed entrance fee in the last day, and that despite rumors to the contrary, he is not in favor of the plan.

    Shimon Buskila head of the World Breslov Center in Uman pledged to do everything in his power to ensure that the proposed fee does not receive parliamentary approval.

    “The proposal is a violation of fundamental values of human freedom and liberty,” said Buskila.

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    21 COMMENTS

    1. let them pray outside, a friend of mine was once in keristra and the goy wanted $15 a head to open up, my friend said $5 the goy said no they davened outside an left – the goy started crying he didnt know that they can pray outside

    2. It cost the city much money to host events like this. Security, garbage collection, etc.. and why shouldn’t they pay something? Better yet, they should stay home with their families on Yom Tov.
      All those vendors selling stuff that is not being taxed by the local gov’t.
      They expect everything to be free.

      • They do not stay in hotels, they stay in tents and makeshift converted warehouses, they also do not fly directly into or Ukraine, they fly in elsewhere and take buses to Uman. The security cost is astronomical as is the amount of revenue the pilgrims bring in. Every year there is a story, someone dying in a lake or some hitting a cop or locals.

        • always great when someone who’s never been there talks ….you have zero knowledge of what goes on.
          1) 90% fly in to Kiev Airport which is in Ukraine (where local govt/mafia adds $100 to the cost of renting a cab
          2) Most people stay in apartments rented out by local govt/mafia which is one and the same
          3) the cost of “security” is negligible as it consists of about 10 or so local mafia thugs and “police” and would probably just work there for their usual salary as opposed to a more boring shift elsewhere
          4) the cost of cleanup which occurs 4x over the course of the holiday (day before and after) amounts to 5 local people picking up trash and a truck driving through once or twice…. $5,000 would cover it handsomely
          5) all of these minimal costs being genrous would accumulate to $40k which would easily be covered by (a) a $1 fee Per person for the whole holiday (b) or by the increase in revenue for the local economy which equals their entire years earnings
          6) all other services rae provided privately by donors etc
          it helps when you actually know what goes on.

    3. $100/day seems very reasonable and probably does not come close to cover actual costs. I believe it should be made more restrictive so I don’t have to hear the whining of the women on the block who “miss” their dedicated husbands. May I urge you to forward my recommendation to the proper authority to make it $1,000/day. This will also serve to cut down on the poorer phonies.

    4. My personal opinion as a frequent visitor to Eastern Europe is that, any mention of charging admission fees is a disgrace-simply because the amount of revenue the visitors to Uman generate to the local economy and government coffers is far more than what the visitors receive in return. To even mention security dues is just a joke, because each and every year those stupid enogh to bring money or valubales to The Ukraine run the risk of the yearly thefts that sweep through the area during Rosh Hashono, and to mention garbage collection, well I suggest you visit the city and then comment. Whilst on this topic there are people who visit Kevorim in Poland & ukraine and for some unknown reason part with untold somes of money to the Local responsible for the cemetery, to give a nominal amount or slighty more than that to someone who opens a gate for a visitor is just causing other visitors to pay this unnecesary price.
      One last point is that dont forget Ukraine is one of the remaining countries who have yet to hand back the thousands of jewish owned homes spreading across dozens of cities-so “who owes who here”and if they really dont want us let the Breslovers take R’ nachman to E.Y.

    5. This is clearly an attempt to reduce the amount of visitors
      The local government is fed up with the total mess during the high holidays and in some cases year round visitors
      organizers should have done a better job in maintaining order and work closer with local authorities
      Some of the visitors are unruly and an embarrassment
      so over all it will be expensive to travel to Uman which will reduce the over all number of visitors, in exchange the money generated by this fee will enable the local authorities to provide better security and sanitation. If this will not reduce the number of visitors they will most likely will up the cover charge even higher
      STAY HOME!

    6. Tell these Breslover to dig up the bones of rav nachman and bring them home to EY and in his z’chus, give all the tens of millions of dollars wasted in flying to Uman and subsidizing the most anti-semitic country in the world and donate those funds to feeding yasomim, maintaining the kevoirm of other tzadidkim in EY which are in disrepair, etc.

      Bring nachman home…Bring nachman home….Bring nachman home…na na nachman

      • Ot a Zoy!! Reinter him in Eretz Yisroel… this whole process has turned into a HUGE Chillul L’Hashem, and tremendous amounts of money are being spent here, when the families of so many of those who go are in such dire need.

      • not if the rebbe wanted to be buried there for some tikun,
        otherwise I agree- get him out of that stinken country.
        My father,who survived the shoah used to tell me that the Nazis killed jews because it was an order-the Ukrainians (yimach both their names ) did it simply because they enjoyed it.or as Shakespeare put it “a plague on both their houses”.
        (forget about shylock and merchant of venice for a moment,only).

    7. What do you think the Breslever Rav would advise you to do? If he could have imagined the beauty of coming to daven in E”Y – in a Jewish country with a Jewish government and Jewish children walking the streets proudly – what do you think he would have advised?

    8. I am sure if Uman was the spring break destination there wouldn’t be any talk about an admission fee. I understand that the local government has to deal the after effects of the pilgrimage but I think it has to do with the type of function. Btw I am not screaming anti-semitism for all those that think I am leading in that direction.

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