Construction and Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) strongly criticized Israel's Coronavirus Czar, Prof. Roni Gamzu, for his opposition to the annual Rosh Hashannah pilgrimage to the grave of Rabbi Nahcman of Breslov in Uman due to the coronavirus crisis.
"Prof. Roni Gamzu's letter to the President of Ukraine against the departure of the followers of Breslov oversteps his authority and bypasses the political route which is the purview of the prime minister, the health minister, and the Coronavirus Cabinet," Litzman told Channel 12 News last night.
"Tens of thousands of Breslov followers who travel to Uman every year are apprehensive and worried about traveling this year in the shadow of the coronavirus. This requires understanding of their pain and listening to their legitimate requests," he added.
"This is a slap in the face to tens of thousands of Breslov followers. We must sit down with the representatives of the followers and discuss with them the possibilities while examining how to find a solution for setting rules and conditions for travel without risk of infection," Liztman concluded.
Prof. Gamzu had previously told Channel 12 News that "there are no flights to Uman - end of story. Uman is not one of the Tishrei holidays and it is not a sacred thing. It is a celebration or a party and should not be done. It can bring us closer to a lockdown. The whole government should be determined to gain the public's trust and tell the followers - do not travel to Uman at this time. This is a risk to lives in Israel."