Annually, on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah – the first of the of the Jewish high holy days – tens of thousands of Hasidic Jews, and others, journey from around the world to Uman in central Ukraine. They are making a pilgrimage to the burial site of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, located on the former site of the Jewish cemetery in a rebuilt synagogue.
Rebbe Nachman spent the last five months of his life in Uman and specifically requested to be buried there. As believed by the Breslov Hassidim, before his death he promised to intercede on behalf of anyone who would come to pray on his grave on Rosh Hashanah. The first Rosh Hashanah pilgrimage took place in 1811, organized by Rebbe’s foremost disciple, Nathan of Breslov.
Now, every year, pilgrims flock to the small city of Uman. Having spent much of his esteemed career documenting religious traditions, Abbas has photographed the pilgrimage to Uman. Fellow Magnum photographer Patrick Zachmann, whose interest in the Jewish rite came from a more personal motivation, has also documented it. Here, the pair of Magnum photographers present their “regards croisés” (crossed gazes). Continue reading.