Rabbi Aroussi: No Justification to Leave One’s Family to Go to Uman for Rosh Hashanah


aroussiAn Israeli rabbi has come out against the custom of some married men to traveling to the kever of Rav  Nachman of Breslov in Uman, Ukraine for Rosh Hashanah without their families. There is no justification for leaving one’s family to take the trip, Rabbi Ratzon Aroussi told Arutz Sheva.

“We must extend blessings to every movement that brings Jews back to Torah, each in his own path, particularly in these days of repentance,” he said. “However, we must speak the truth: the unity of the family is above everything else. It is a very precious thing in halachah.”

He quoted a Gemara in which a Tanna told his talmid, “If you have a family, stay with your family.”

The same spiritual benefits can be had in Eretz Yisroel, he continued.

“Do we not have kevorim here? The forefathers of our nation are buried here; why go abroad? What about the kevorim of the avos, Kever Rochel, the kevorim of the great and mighty of our nation… ?”

Rabbi Aroussi, the rov of Kiryat Ono and a member of the Rabbinic Council of the Chief Rabbinicate, explained that visits to a chassidic leader on Yomim Tovim can be problematic for the same reason. “The spiritual connection to the admor is important – but not at the expense of your home,” he declared.

“Whoever leaves his family and goes to his rebbi or admor for the chagim, whether in Eretz Yisroel or even more so outside the land, is violating halachah,” he stated. Those who wish to connect to their spiritual leaders on the chagim “should take care to bring their families with them, but G-d forbid that they should leave their families,” he added.

Rabbi Aroussi stated that a one-time trip to visit the kevorim of gedolim buried outside Israel would be permissible, “because it is a trip undertaken for a holy purpose, in order to kindle the flame of faith.” However, such trips should not be taken on an annual basis, he added, and not on the chagim.

{Arutz Sheva/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I think that there are a fair amount of dilettantes there. And some people whose visits are productive, but whose families suffer.
    I do think this might pack more of a punch if it came from the leadership of such groups, or if people would be encouraged to ask individual shailos.

  2. Rabbi Aroussi stated that a one-time trip to visit the kevorim of gedolim buried outside Israel would be permissible, “because it is a trip undertaken for a holy purpose, in order to kindle the flame of faith.” However, such trips should not be taken on an annual basis, he added, and not on the chagim.

    Begging the Honored Rav’s pardon but his assertion seems contradictory. Travel to Uman or to an Admur/Rebbi/Rosh HaYeshiva should be a spiritual enterprise. Indeed one who goes to Uman goes to pray for their family, relatives and friends as well as Klal Yisrael.

  3. In these very dificult times it is very hard to understand why so many pepole travel to Uman.They should save their money for their famalies.

  4. Leaving Eretz Yisroel because there is a better
    place from where the ribono shel olom will be
    mekabel your tefillos, is kefira & ameiratzes.

    The millions spent for travel etc. is bal tashchis. The bitul torah from tinokos shel bais rabon is enough.
    No gadol has ever encouraged this pilgrim. It was started by amei haaretz and meshugoim.

  5. I think it is nuts that someone might spend hundreds of dollars to travel to ukraine
    But thats me, I am frugal when it comes to spending big dollars for a less than guaranteed outcome.

  6. There are two sides to this coin. Breslovers have an age-old tradition of mesirus nefesh to get to Uman. Unfortunately many of those who go are there to enjoy and contribute to the atmosphere of hefkeirus, which takes away from the true kedusha that surely is in Uman. These people don’t have a leader and will not subject themselves to one who tells them to do things that are unpleasant to them. This is without even getting into those who are drug abusers

  7. Good thining Eli! Cute!
    &ut seriously speaking if someone travels for an aliyah in his avoidas HaShem and the family is okay with it, nu! That’s a personal decision. But this Uman thing bhas drawn crowds, many who have no shaaychiss whatsoever.
    If someone is a chosid of a Rebbe and that’s what’s done in his chassidus ie. Belz, Viznitz, Karlin, Ger etc. Zullin zy gyne gezinterheit. But this uman thing has become akin to a ball game (take me out to the ball game;)) It has gotten out of hand. Sons sit in Shul without their fathers who have all gone to be with the boys, as it were!

  8. Everyone needs to do what is best for them and their family’s spiritual needs. It is not fair for other people to decide what is important and what is not, as long as one is growing and shteiging. For some it is a yearly visit to Uman for others it is Rosh Hashana by their Rebbe/Rosh Yeshiva.

  9. I am not a Breslover, but I would think more people would have a live and let live attitude.

    People who are true Breslover chassidim and therefore go to Uman have every right to go, just the same as any other chassidus.

    It is each person’s responsibility to work this out with his own family. If the wife is supportive, there’s no reason not to go – whether to Uman, to Yerushalayim, to Boro Park, to Givat Ze’ev or anywhere else where ones’ Rebbe lives.

    There are many sacrifies women are willing to make for their husband’s ruchniyus. If someone not chassidish can’t understand it, that’s fine – but don’t knock those who do and are happy to let their husbands go, and reap the benefits that it brings.

  10. I would love to see the same enthusaism for paying up Schar Limud as for going to Uman. I hear people go into debt to travel there??!!

  11. The real problem is that MOST people who are spending Rosh Hashona in Uman are going there just for the fun, they do NOT study Reb.Nachmans Torah learning’s etc.

    You can’t jut pick and choose when it comes to Chasidus.

  12. like everything in life good things could be abused …so you can’t say a blanket statement that its bad or that its good every situation should be looked at individually. i’m sure that there are many people that gain tremendously from going to uman- even at the expense of leaving their family behind(!) and there unfortunately those who go to party. its not up to us to say if its right or wrong

  13. Okay; i feel that this strong beleif of not leaving your family on yom tov and especialy on rosh hashana to fly to Ukraine, is a belief that everyone should decide basing on their families and wives opinions. Some wives do mind if their husbands leave them for a yom tov while on the other hand other wives and families do not mind if their husband or parent left them-to go pray for them by the holy rabi nachman me’uman. I feel that this opinion/ belief should be left up to those that this situation might come up.

  14. Harav Hagaon Chacham Ovadia, Shlit’a said this before. I would guess there are very few who really go l’shaim Shomayim and feel they would not have the aliyah otherwise if they stay home.It is mostly mishugoyim and people so out of control with money that there is nothing, no party that they would miss….
    It is not for the Roshie Yeshiva to condemn because it is really not the Yeshivaleit going.

  15. whoever thinks they know better than R’Nachman himself who said you all must come to me for Rosh Hashana including this so called rabbi only shows that they themselves have NO emunas tzadikim. and this hole touchy feely thing about family let me remind you its JUDGEMENT DAY not family day, one may even fast on rosh hashana its Yom Hadin and when there is din stick with the Tzadikim and your family will have you around for a lot longer and with better results.

  16. To #13,#22 and others who are not chasidim. its Elul and respect for others minhagim is in order. Wether you like it or not many chasidim travel to their rebbes for rosh hashana either to eretz yisroel or wherever their rebbe lives. To bad if you don’t understand it. But don’t put down others. By the way only men had to go be oleh regel.

  17. i think its ridicoulus thta we are pouring in millions to the economy of the ukraine a land soaked with jewish blood
    why dont we move rabbi nachmans kever to israel(then we will see how many go to him)
    this is out of hand and has no basis or precedent in jewish history

  18. Rav Kook also paskened that his is not a justification for leaving Eretz Yisrael. If someone lives in Chutz LeAretz it does not apply. However, he is giving parnassa to those who continue in the ways of their grandfathers, whose bloodlust even shocked their Nazi commanders, as recent events have shown. Moreoevr, the dollars the Ukraininas receive from this are causing them to refuse to allow Rabbi Nachman’s bones to be reinterred in Eretz Yisrael as he most certainly wanted. If Jews would not go they would send all of our ancestors’ remains to Israel so that they could build “cultural centers”.

  19. Harav Ratzon is a talmid of Rav Kapach (who had put out the monumental work on the rambams misneh torah amongst others).. He is a member of the Moetzes of the Rabbanut which includes besides the 2 rav rosheis also Rav grossman and others..

  20. I am MORE THAN HAPPY for my husband to go to Uman for Rosh Hashana. I see it as the best thing he can ever do for the home. When you read what Rav Nachman has to say about it, you would have to be crazy not to go. It is far from being a ‘fun’ experience because there is a lot of expense and discomfort involved. But it is a very joyous experience (gilu birada) and spiritually uplifting like none other.
    All those who worry about the expense… that is not our business. If the tzaddik says to do something then he takes responsibility. If a person cannot have bitul to a tzaddik then he’ll always come to the wrong conclusions. Spiritual matters of this kind are not to be taken lightly.