Will the Measles Spread Again After Mispallalim Return from Uman?


Last winter a drastic increase in measles cases was documented both in Israel and the United States. According to information that was received by the Health Ministries in both Israel and the United States the disease was spread by those who contracted the disease during their stay in Rosh Hashanah in Uman visiting the gravesite of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.

Additionally, two workers in the Oxford Medical clinic that was working in Uman last year, and this year will be run in partnership with United Hatzalah contracted measles while they were in Uman. After they returned to Israel it was discovered that they had contracted the disease and brought it back with them to Israel.

It was also reported that the head of the Breslov Institutions in Tzefat (Safed) was hospitalized last year after he too contracted the disease while he was in Uman for Rosh Hashanah. Rabbi Koenig was hospitalized in Rambam Medical Center in Haifa and was in serious condition.

Rabbi Yisrael Klein who heads the medical clinic in Uman also contracted the measles during his work at the clinic helping the thousands of people who had medical emergencies during the holiday last year, asked the public to vaccinate against the measles prior to their arrival in the city.

As the area around Uman has also seen an outbreak of measles in recent months Israel’s Health Ministry has also asked the public to vaccinate against the measles before heading to Ukraine for the holiday. “People born in 1957 and onwards should have both measles vaccinations prior to their departure for Uman. Children over six months of age traveling abroad should receive at least one dose of the vaccine before traveling.”

President and Founder of United Hatzalah Eli Beer also asked the public to vaccinate in order to avoid endangering others. “It is the protocol that all first responders involved in our organization must be fully vaccinated against the measles. However, with the thousands of visitors to the city of Uman over the holiday, I urge everyone to take upon themselves the responsibility of vaccinating before they come so as not to risk the lives of the other participants or their families when they return home. The outbreak of measles in New York and Israel, which both have been traced in part to people who spent the holiday in Uman in recent years has already cost the Jewish people dearly. It would be a tragedy that if someone who only wants to spend the holiday visiting the grave of Rebbe Nachman would be responsible for the avoidable death of innocent people.”

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(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. I am under the impression that beshitta segments of the Breslover community do not get vaccinated because they “hold” of getting the measles.

  2. The problem is that the “real Breslovers” don’t believe in doctors and medicine and Ukraine has one of the worst measles epidemic in the world. Dangerous combination.
    The idea of going to a cemetery for Rosh Hashanah and imagining you are by a Tzaddik is perversion of Yiddishkeit.
    Now there is a real threat of them putting lives at risk and worsening the Chillul Hashem that they caused last year. The question is, will anyone stand up against this insanity or are we just going to watch it unfold?

  3. The LIES, the idea that the tzadik is not at his kever, and people who go there are not in fact visiting him, is not only a perversion of yiddishkeit it is an outright denial of the Torah. Kalev went to Mearas Hamachpela to ask the Avos to pray for him. Yirmiyahu went there and also to Mt Nevo, to alert the Avos and Moshe about the churban. For 3300 years Jews have believed that a person is present at his kever, and by going there one can communicate with him. If you deny that you are some kind of protestant.

    In particular, Reb Nachman specifically asked that people come to him for Rosh Hashono, so how dare you call it a perversion? Of course everyone who goes should be vaccinated.

  4. @The Truth
    I agree and disagree. Davening by a tzaddik’s grace is as old as entering E”Y with Calev BY and Yehoshua BN davening in Maaras Hamachpela. So legitimacy is there. The problem was created by R’ Nachman himself telling his talmidim that those who come to his Tziun for R”H, if necessary, he will pull them out of gehenum by there payos after their petirah. Today I sincerely hope that people who arrive in Umman are davening to Hashem and not to their Rebbe.

  5. Let me help everyone be Mechalek.
    Davening at Kiveri Tzadikim is a good thing. That has always existed.
    Going to a Kever and thinking that you are leaving your family to be by your Rebbe, for Rosh Hashana has never existed. It is a perversion of Yiddishkeit.
    The Chiluk is simple.

    The old minhag in Breslov was
    to make a Siyum Hashas once a year. They held you didn’t need to understand the Gemara. It was enough just to say the words. Perhaps the inability to see this Chiluk is rooted in the Minhag of not taking Gemara seriously. Rch’l.

  6. @The Truth. The only group in Breslov that holds that you are yotze learning Torah shebeall peh by by simply reading the words it is Rov Schick’s chaburah. There is no Breslover minhag to make a siyum hashas every year. Understand that no one else in Breslov holds of them because a lot of their teaching fly in the face of the halachah. Secondly Breslover leaders have been saying to use doctors for the past two centuries. The Rebbe describes people on a certain madregah as not needing doctors due to the extremely high quality of their prayers which allows them to be healed by the simple food that they eat. (See Likutei Moharan Vol. II lesson 1.). It was always the simple understanding in Breslov most of us are not on that level. My mentor Rav Eluzer Mordechai Kenig zt”l had been by doctors for years because of his lungs and when my wife asked whether or not to vaccinate, he told us to vaccinate. This is simply spill over from the anti-vaxer movement that has started in recent history.