Every year on Rosh Hashannah, thousands of Jews from Israel make the annual pilgrimage to the kever of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in the Ukrainian city of Uman.
Rabbi Aryeh Stern, Chief Rabbi of Yerushalayim, strongly criticized the pilgrimage recently, writing that the sanctity of Israel far outweighs the tradition of visiting Rabbi Nachman’s tomb.
“When I ask [about this tradition], I’m told that people who make the pilgrimage to Reb [Nachman’s] tomb on Rosh Hashannah will receive a special blessing. But I’m certain that that same rabbi didn’t mean this except for people already living outside of Israel.
“It is impossible to think that he [Rabbi Nachman] would say that to someone who lives in Eretz Yisrael, the land which is more blessed than any other in the world. There could never be an extra blessing for someone who leaves Israel looking for spiritual uplift at the graves of tzaddikim who themselves wanted to move to Israel.” Read more here.