Meir Porush
Meir Porush Hezki Baruch

Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush (UTJ) on Saturday night slammed coronavirus czar Professor Ronni Gamzu, claiming he lacks even a minimal understanding of the religious lifestyle.

Porush's comments follow Gamzu's insistence that Breslov hasidim refrain from traveling to Uman, Ukraine, for the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year).

"Professor Gamzu's patronizing behavior is reminiscent of the Supreme Court's attempt to take over everyday life," Porush said.

"Even if Gamzu has professional knowledge, he lacks even a minimum amount of basic knowledge regarding the religious lifestyle and the beliefs of tens of thousands, who believe in the great gathering in Uman for Rosh Hashanah.

"For us, as a religious and haredi community, we absolutely cannot agree that people so disconnected from our lifestyle take control and criticize us. It's an embarrassment for the governing system, and a terrible thing."

In an interview with News 12 on Saturday evening, Gamzu said that from his perspective, there are no flights to Uman.

"Uman is not the Tishrei holidays, and it's not a holy thing," he said. "It's a day of passing, or a party, and there's no need to do this. It could bring us closer to a lockdown. The entire government needs to be determined to win the public's trust and to tell the hasidim not to travel to Uman at this time. It risks lives in Israel."

The Tishrei holidays include Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), and Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles).

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