When I first got to Uman, pretty much no-one was wearing masks.
But then, Israel’s Orwellian health ministry started dictating to the Ukrainians that what was going on in Uman wasn’t ‘good enough’ to enable thousands of Jewish pilgrims to come for Rosh Hashana.
The argument went like this:
You need to turn Pushkina into a mini-masked police state, like we have in religious neighborhoods in Israel, and if you get the Breslovers to agree to that, then we’ll consider letting a few more chassidim out to pray in Uman this year.
And so, over the last few days, Pushkina has gradually turned into a police state – but only for Jews.
As soon as you leave the small area where the Jews are to be found, most of the masks disappear, and most of the ‘rules’ about COVID-1984 disappear, too.
Of course, there was never any intention to let more Jews come and daven in Uman for Rosh Hashana, at least, not for the Israeli government.
Just as they have made every effort to truly wreck the high holidays in Israel itself for its observant citizens, it has spared no expense or effort to wreck the kibbutz in Uman, too.
A big part of that was introducing the black metal ‘snake’ path in the tomb itself, which meant that none of the men could stand and pray, and they all had to shuffle along the ‘snake’ quickly reciting the tikkun haklali once before getting told to leave.
Let me tell you – that totally wrecked the energy and the atmosphere you usually get by the kever.
Even in the women’s section, we could immediately feel the difference. And of course, it didn’t help that any time someone was chutzpah enough to actually try to pray a shacharit, minchah or ma’ariv there, the Ukrainian ‘VIP Security’ guards would try to shut them down – and then call for back up from the Ukrainian police, if they couldn’t manage it.
That’s why a few days, a small group of people dismantled the ‘snake’.
And while they got a lot of official censure for doing that, I have to tell you that most of the people here agreed 100% with their actions, at least in theory. Because the ‘snake’ was swallowing all the kedusha.
But, the health ministry waved the ‘carrot’ of letting more Jews in if we all sat back and agreed to masks, and social distancing, and the ‘snake’ in the Kever – and all the other pointless COVID-1984 propaganda that’s been gushing out of the State of Israel – and so the snake came back.
This time, it was joined by industrial amounts of cling film, as Rabbenu was vacuum-packed into a number of tiny ‘cubicles’, which make totally no sense from a germ-prevention point of view, but since when was any of this really about public health?
At the same time, health ministry officials started popping up in local shops and in the local hotels, to bully the proprietors into wearing masks – and forcing their customers to do the same.
Instantly, the religious Jews of Uman developed visible ‘pariah’ status, as they walked around in bright blue surgical masks while the Ukrainians did not.
Very soon after that, signs started to appear in some local shops in Uman saying ‘Chassidim aren’t welcome’, while the local non-Jews also started to worry that the frum Israelis were disease-carriers after all, and started shunning us and eyeing us more suspiciously than usual.
So, the State of Israel’s plan to wreck Uman 5781 has been proceeding magnificently.
On the one hand, they barred thousands of Jews from getting here, including the unfortunate – but amazing! – Jews stuck in no-mans land between Belarus and Ukraine.
They were sleeping out in the cold for a 3rd night yesterday, and while the State of Israel is totally refusing to help – because it’s an anti-semitic regime that oppresses religious Jews – the Belarussian government has stepped into the breach.
As well as providing massive tents and access to the Red Cross and food from Uman, packaged by the Breslov philanthropist Eliezer Shiner, may God bless him, the Belarussians have offered to pay for buses to Uman, and to also pay for the pilgrims flight back home to Israel.
So far, the State of Israel still isn’t budging, and is demanding the pilgrims fly straight back to Israel from Belarus, while also engaging in a smear campaign to make out like these brave people ‘deserve’ starvation and sleeping rough surrounded by armed Ukrainian soldiers.
I mean, if they were going to Crete for Rosh Hashana that would be something else!!! The fact that they were trying to get to Uman makes them totally hefker, irresponsible and bad. And the State of Israel is going to punish them for attempting to celebrate Rosh Hashana in any spiritually meaningful way!!!
So, there are currently just a couple of thousand Jews here in Uman, as opposed to the 50-60,000 that regularly come.
And at the same time, we have all the retarded COVID-1984 farcical rules, imported wholesale from Israel, to try to ‘kill’ the atmosphere here and scare people away from praying in the kever.
Take a look at what was going on in Uman this time last year, for Rosh Hashana 5780:
And now, this is the scene I photographed this morning in Pushkina, where there was about 3 scary looking Ukrainian police guards with truncheons, for every chassid on the street:
What a difference!
But here’s the good news.
(You know that good news always comes out from Uman, don’t you?)
If you check in Lesson 2:8 of Likutey Moharan, Rabbenu talks about a ‘serpent’ that eats all the good in the world, but then tries to ‘eat’ the True Tzaddik – and that is the ‘bone’ that gets stuck in its throat. And at that point, it’s then forced to regurgitate every last bit of good that it swallowed, from the beginning of time.
Rabbenu is the bone in the throat of that ‘snake’.
That selfsame lesson also talks about the importance of Rosh Hashana, and the awesome tikkunim that the True Tzaddik can achieve on Rosh Hashana.
That is the stage we are at.
The COVID-1984 ‘snake’ has wrapped itself around Rabbenu, mamash.
But when Rosh Hashana is ushered in, he’s going to utterly crush it into the ground.
And by Yom Kippur, things will look VERY different, especially in Israel.
So hang on, and keep praying for the chassidim stuck in Belarus, and on other borders to get here before Rosh Hashana.
All the mesirut nefesh to get here this year means each person is worth at least 100, if not a 1000.
Spiritually, we HAVE reached the 40,000 people required to crush COVID-1984 – there are at least that many people who wanted to come, and who were totally prevented to by the State of Israel.
But, its time is nearly up.
So ain shum yeoush be’olam klal.
After Rosh Hashana, the power of the snake will be totally broken.
You might also like this article: