Dr. Yakir Kaufman: 'Synagogue isn't more dangerous than a theater with hundreds'

No difference between flights to Uman and to USA, or between synagogues and theaters, Dr. Yakir Kaufman, coronavirus coordinator for haredi community, says.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Movie theater (stock)
Movie theater (stock)

Dr. Yakir Kaufman, one of the heads of the Health Ministry's coronavirus officials for the haredi community, discussed the upcoming Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) holiday and the flights by many to Uman, Ukraine.

Among the Breslov hasidic community, many people have the tradition to travel each Rosh Hashanah to the Uman gravesite of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, one of the leader's founders.

Speaking to Kan News, Dr. Kaufman said, "People have been flying to Turkey and to the USA for many months already, with all the rules. A three-hour flight to Uman is not more dangerous than a ten-hour flight to the US. It's not a special issue."

He added: "I don't think that prayers in a synagogue are more dangerous than hundreds of people in a theater, or a ten-hour flight. We need to put things in proportion."

Last week, Health Ministry Director General Professor Nachman Ash said: "An outline is being formulated that will also allow safe prayers. There is no doubt that something needs to be done that will allow the security of those who come to pray."

"I call on those who travel to Uman to follow the guidelines there as well, and I recommend to those who are not vaccinated - not to travel to Uman," he added.

At the same time, Ukraine officials gave the go-ahead for the annual pilgrimage, with the country's Deputy Health Minister Dr. Igor Kuzin saying: "Currently, the epidemiological situation in Ukraine, high levels of vaccination coverage in the world and timely preparation for this celebration, allows to receive pilgrims."