Regardless of considerations concerning the COVID variant, the Satmar crowd is holding a Torah get together in Brooklyn
WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn – A huge group of Satmar Hasidim packed into their Williamsburg synagogue Saturday night with no masks or social distancing apparent to celebrate the arrival of a new Torah at the location.
The gathering appeared to number around 2,000, with Grand Rebbe Aaron Teitelbaum – who had COVID-19 in March last year – leading the event on Hooper Street near Marcy Avenue.
#New Despite the arrival of COVID19 #variants in NYC, this Satmar Synagogue was full on Saturday night in Brooklyn to celebrate the arrival of a new Torah. A Satmar attorney questioned about the lack of a mask said, “It’s enough already.” pic.twitter.com/5FGszHE4Dd
– Mary Murphy (@MurphyPIX) February 21, 2021
His faction, Satmar, is based in the upstate Kiryas Joel Ward, but Teitelbaum has a large following in Williamsburg. According to sources, a party was held to welcome the handwritten parchment donated to the synagogue.
The person who posted the video to PIX11 News said that some Hasidim are taking advantage of the Supreme Court ruling that eased some restrictions on religious gatherings.
“The fact is, the Supreme Court decision clearly states that there must be social distancing and masking,” said the source, a member of another Hasidic faction in Brooklyn.
Some Hasidic organizations joined a lawsuit by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn when New York State severely restricted attendance at church services, even if a large venue would accommodate more than 25 people if social distancing was followed.
More videos from this Saturday celebration have been posted on the AhBlinkLive.com website. The date of the event was entered on a calendar in Yiddish.
PIX11 reached out to Isaac Abraham, a prominent member of the Satmar Hasidic community in Williamsburg who has long been involved in the media.
He was annoyed that large Satmar gatherings continued to make the headlines.
“Why is every Jewish wedding political, but if they dance for Biden in the street, is that okay?” Asked Abraham.
When PIX11 mentioned to Abraham that the novel coronavirus could mutate and variants are now popping up in New York City, he replied, “We do whatever needs to be done. We will most likely be vaccinated. “
Abraham mocked the changing instructions on masks. The latest recommendation from New York City and Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House Task Force suggested that Americans wear two masks for maximum protection.
“You have decided to take John Q. Public hostage,” said Abraham. “Don’t tell us how to protect our children! It is enough already. We are going to celebrate. “
Abraham pointed out that many in his community are often tested before major events and also donate their plasma after they recover from COVID.
Abraham also referred to the upcoming celebration of Purim, where Jewish people wear costumes in a tradition similar to Halloween.
“One thing is certain, we will wear masks on Purim,” said Abraham.
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