Breslov rabbis: No women in Uman

As thousands prepare to travel to Uman for Rosh Hashanah, a number of Breslov rabbis call to prohibit women near gravesite at that time.

Michal Levi,

Yaakov Naami, Flash 90

In anticipation of the arrival of tens of thousands of visitors to the tomb of the famed Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in Uman on Rosh Hashanah, a number of Breslov rabbis issued a call not to allow women to visit the area of the gravesite and its surroundings during the High Holidays.

In a letter distributed to followers, the rabbis wrote: "In recent years, we have borne witness to a terrible situation in the destruction of boundaries of modesty prevailing in the streets near the gravesite where our people reside during the holy Rosh Hashanah, when women walk among the holy public and engage in commerce [...], they stand there and sell, and lead the public astray, Heaven have mercy.”

“Likewise, there are two hotels where women are waitresses for the male public,” they wrote.

“Woe to this disgrace (as in many cases there is immodesty at these places, Heaven have mercy), and the danger in body and soul posed in this is known, as our sages said ‘Every place that you find whoring, chaos comes to the world and kills the good and the bad.’ And the Torah says, ‘And your camp shall be holy.’ And the great sorrow and suffering caused to the tzaddik because of this cannot be estimated, as is brought in Likutei Moharan about how much the tzaddik is careful from any trace of damage to holiness, and how much more so in strict prohibitions in holiness and modesty, Heaven have mercy.”

In their letter, the rabbis presented a number of instructions to the owners of the shops in the area surrounding Rabbi Nachman's grave. "The owners of the shops and hotels, etc., are forbidden to employ Jewish and foreign women to serve the customers, one should not buy or stay at a store or guesthouse where women serve, and no woman, including those who live in Uman, should be found in any of the streets near the holy gravesite, where men are present, during the entire gathering [for Rosh Hashanah].”

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