Israelis flock to Uman

Thousands of Israelis began the annual pilgrimage to the grave of a 19th century Chasidic sage in Ukraine.

An estimated 12,000 people, mostly Chasidic men, set off Sunday from Israel for Rosh Hashanah services at the grave of Rabbi Nahman of Breslav, whose life spawned a Chasidic movement that today also has many devotees among Israelis of secular backgrounds.

Each year before Rosh Hashanah, travel firms arrange special charter flights and hotel packages in Uman , where the grave is located, to accommodate what is said to be the biggest Jewish pilgrimage outside Israel.

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