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Ten Hasidic pilgrims deported from Ukraine

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Sept. 13, 2010, 12:41 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Hasidic Jews perform a ritual dousing with holy water from a local pond before celebrations for the Jewish New Year in Uman, some 120 miles south of Kyiv on Sept. 8, 2010. Thousands of followers of Rabbi Nachman from around the world flocked to the Uman to pay homage to their spiritual leader and celebrate the start of the New Year at his grave.
© AFP

Ukraine has deported to Israel ten Hasidic pilgrims, who attempted to disrupt public order in Uman, Cherkasy region, and who were suspected of causing bodily harm to local residents. The pilgrims have been banned from Ukraine for five years, the media liaisons department of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's main office in Cherkasy region reported.

The deputy head of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's main office in Cherkasy region, Ivan Korsun, said that pre-investigation checks were being conducted with respect to three more Hasidic pilgrims.

Korsun also noted that two conflicts had erupted during the Hasidic pilgrims' visits to Uman. One of the injured residents is already at home, while the other is still in hospital.

Clashes between the residents of Uman and the pilgrims broke out on September 10. In particular, a conflict erupted near a local children's hospital between activists of the first Jewish Evangelical Church, who arrived from Odesa to preach their faith in "true God," and the Hasidim. The activists of the Jewish Evangelical Church distributed leaflets and T-shirts with the slogans of the unity of the Jews in a common faith, and they said they were not planning to create a conflict situation. The Hasidic pilgrims objected to the rally, and a conflict broke out. The participants of the rally were obliged to return to Odesa.

The second case was connected with a reaction to a remark by a woman from Uman, who had leased her apartment to the Hasidim for the period of the pilgrimage, but due to noise said she would call the police. A man from the neighboring apartment came out and phoned the police.

"The Hasidim... started beating the man, chasing him onto the street. A passer-by came to his defense and suffered several blows," the department said.

The two injured men were hospitalized in a local city hospital.

Every autumn, Hasidic pilgrims travel to Uman to visit the gravesite of their spiritual leader Rabbi Nachman and celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

According to the police, around 24,000 Hasidic pilgrims from 23 countries arrived in Uman this year.


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Anonymous Sept. 13, 2010, 4:53 p.m.    

So, what was the conflict about? Was it between Jews and non-Jews or Jews and Jews? Sorting through this part of the story, it sounds like Jew on Jew.

Jewish Evangelical Church, who arrived from Odesa to preach their faith in "true God," and the Hasidim. The activists of the Jewish Evangelical Church distributed leaflets and T-shirts with the slogans of the unity of the Jews in a common faith, and they said they were not planning to create a conflict situation.

Why Jewish unity would make the Hasids angry I don't know.

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Anonymous Sept. 13, 2010, 6:07 p.m.    

Unfortunately with &quot;evangelicals&quot; it

isn't the message but the delivery.

Unfortunately with &quot;unity&quot; it

isn't brotherhood but control.

Unfortunately with Hasidics

kosher does not mean gentlemen.

Never the less if pilgrims travel to Ukraine

every autumn from 23 countries,

why isn't someone thinking tourism.

Make an encampment where one can rent a tent.

Instead of preaching the evangelicals could set up

a kosher kitchen where scripture is written on the napkins

in half a dozen languages.

Sale kosher chocolate shofar ram's horn souvenirs to take back home.

Crocheted azure and gold kippah skull caps.

Use your brains not your cold sholders.

Their money is as good as the Russians.

Where are the tourism entrepreneur?

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Anonymous Sept. 14, 2010, 9:34 a.m.    

eyy don't knock it, bizniz is bizniz, you think skull caps with tridents on them would sell?

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Anonymous Sept. 15, 2010, 4:06 a.m.    

Since you phrased your question so cordially,I'll attempt to answer by way of explanation: Evangelicalism, as it's very name implies, places great emphasis on zealotous proselyzation of it's faith;espescially when it comes to the group this story alleges as the &quot;victim&quot;,(i.e. the so-called &quot;Jewish&quot; Evangelicals). Having said this, it's no exageration whatsoever to say that when they approached Hasidim that the attempt was taken as an attack on their faith, and responded in kind.

And frankly, I'm amazed at the authorities' lack of sensitivity (not to mention inteligence),in not taking this into consideration.

But reading the venemous comments helped immeasurably.I'm in no way condoning violence;merely trying to offer insight.Which I hope will be appreciated by those seeking it...

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Anonymous Sept. 15, 2010, 4:14 a.m.    

My attempt at answering your question was mistakenly placed in response to the next comment,(&quot;Mykhayl's&quot;).

Please be so kind as to read it.Thank you.

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Anonymous Sept. 15, 2010, 3:39 a.m.    

It's so very heartwarming to see how attitudes have improved with regard to religious tolerance in your country since the Holacaust.

(sarcasm intended).

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Anonymous Sept. 15, 2010, 11:05 p.m.    

Which country is that?

Probably not one that separates the Ashkenazim from the Sephardim, the Haredi from the Modern Orthodox, the Modern Orthodox from the Religious, the Religious from the Reform, the Reform from the secular.

You don't need a country to legislate that intolerance... the communities do it themselves.

But thank you for the walk through the Garden of the self-Righteous.

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2010, 8:48 a.m.    

Try telling that to all the local people who throw their garbage in the river.

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