Saturday, October 01, 2011

Hasidic Jewish pilgrim drowns in Ukraine 

After prayer a group of Hasidic pilgrims went to immerse themselves in a lake in the central Ukrainian town of Uman, the location of a famed annual pilgrimage, the deputy head of the Uman district administration said.

"One of them died, his relatives pulled him out of the water, he was already gone," Petro Payevsky told AFP, noting the lake was not suitable for ritual bathing considered important for all Hasidic men.

Each autumn thousands of Hasidic pilgrims flock to Uman which is famous as the burial place of Rabbi Nachman of BreslovRa, a venerated 18th century rabbi and a key figure in the Hasidic branch of Orthodox Judaism, to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Some 26,000 people, many of them from Israel, arrived in Uman this year, the Jewish community said. Officials would not comment on the nationality of the victim.

Rabbi Nachman, who died in 1810, promised he would save his followers from Hell who came to his grave on the Rosh Hashanah which this year started on Wednesday.


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