Breslov hassid in Uman visiting Rabbi Nachman's tomb
Breslov hassid in Uman visiting Rabbi Nachman's tombFlash 90

United Hatzalah volunteers in Uman, Ukraine have treated more than 1,000 people since Tuesday and over the course of Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat. Many of the people treated were sent for continued care in the medical clinic established by the Breslov community of Uman. Cases included dehydration, light injuries, fainting, falling from high places, burns, cuts, respiratory problems, and injuries sustained by people hiking or walking the roads and pathways in and around the city.

Avi Tennenbaum, an EMT first responder who was at Uman for the holiday said, "Some 50,000 Jews gathered this year in the city which resembles one in a third world country to celebrate the holiday near the grave of Rebbe Nachman. Our volunteers responded to more than 1,000 calls in just a few days and worked around the clock to provide medical first aid services to those in need. I myself responded to more than 25 calls over the holiday, more than a few of which were literally life-threatening."

Tennenbaum, who on top of volunteering as an EMT was also appointed the organization's Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit head for the Uman mission, explained that many of the injuries were related to the Uman experience.

"It was remarkable to see the nature of injuries which came in and be able to trace a good many of them back to the Uman experience. Asthma attacks skyrocketed because of the polluted air in Uman, those with food allergies came in droves because they were eating food which they were not used to, adults and children fell off two meter high bunk beds they were renting during their stay. There were those with breaks, sprains, gashes, and lacerations from metal objects lying around or on the building rooftops as they climbed up to the roofs to watch the action.

"There were also overdoses by people who tried a little too hard to have a good time, terrible stomach pains for those who drank the local water or had food poisoning. Add diabetics who weren't eating right and whose sugar was too high or too low because of the different mealtime schedule, several searches for missing people in the small hours of the night - and then the regular calls for chest pains, strokes, and more.

“The volunteers overcame incredible obstacles to save lives time and again over the course of the holiday. I am so proud to be part of United Hatzalah, whose only goal is to save lives, working with people who demonstrate over and over their genius, ingenuity, flexibility, and ability to overcome all odds and save lives."