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Cuomo: 7000-Person Brooklyn Synagogue Wedding Blatant Disregard For Law

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Orthodox rabbi ignored Cuomo’s laws.

7,000-person synagogue wedding and held it in ‘secret’ by not handing out invitations and only using word of mouth.

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A Brooklyn synagogue is to be investigated after hosting a secret wedding with thousands of unmasked guests earlier this month.

New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has criticized a Hasidic synagogue for hosting a ‘secret’ maskless ceremony which around 7,000 guests attended.

Cuomo called the nuptials ‘a blatant disregard of the law’ which had the potential to be a coronavirus super-spreader event.

‘It’s illegal. It was also disrespectful to the people of New York,’ Cuomo said during a press conference on Sunday.

‘The law protects everybody. It protects you, but it also protects me,’ he said.

Cuomo is now urging the city’s mayor Bill de Blasio to conduct ‘a robust investigation’ of the wedding which was held at the Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg.

Videos from November 8th show a packed Satmar synagogue in clear defiance of coronavirus safety restrictions.

The wedding, which saw people standing shoulder to shoulder, had apparently been kept ‘a secret’, however Cuomo questioned how such a feat would have been possible.

‘If 7,000 people went to a wedding, you can figure that out, right? That’s the problem with a ‘secret’ 7,000. It’s hard to keep a secret,’ he said.

‘It’s my information the city is investigating. They should investigate, and if 7,000 people were at a wedding, I’m sure they’ll be able to figure it out, and then we’ll bring the full consequences of legal action to bear.’

The organizers are said to have gone to great lengths to hide the wedding of Yoel Teitelbaum, the grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelman, from ‘the ravenous press and government officials,’ according to a report in the Yiddish newspaper Der Blatt, a publication of the Satmar sect.

To keep the celebration under wraps, the community shared information on the wedding only by word-of-mouth as organizers schemed to avoid it being broken up.

Governor Cuomo also noted how in October, the state ordered the cancellation of another Williamsburg wedding that had been planned for a grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum, a brother and rival of Aaron. The event had been expected to draw 10,000 people.

‘If it turns out that, because we stopped that wedding, the reaction was, “well we’ll have a secret wedding,'” that would be really shocking and totally deceitful from the conversations that I had, because I had personal conversations with members of the community,’ said Cuomo.

‘Due to the ongoing situation with government restrictions, preparations were made secretly and discreetly, so as not to draw attention from strangers,’ reported Yiddish newspaper Der Blatt, the publication of the Satmar sect. on November 13, according to the New York Post.

‘In recent weeks, organizers worked tirelessly to arrange everything in the best way possible.

‘All notices about upcoming celebrations were passed along through word of mouth, with no notices in writing, no posters on the synagogue walls, no invitations sent through the mail, nor even a report in any publication, including this very newspaper.’

Images of the ceremony show the hall rammed with bodies with no masks in sight as the community celebrated successfully getting away with the gathering.

‘Now that the wedding has passed, thank God, after being held with great splendor and fanfare, the sentiment expressed by all is: how privileged we are, how good our portion, how fortunate our lot, to have merited the experience of such a glorious night,’ wrote Der Blatt.

The large crowds had even slipped under the nose of the local fire station as the organizers moved with stealth to ensure that their cover was not blown.

The FDNY, which is one of a host of city agencies that inspect sites for COVID-19 violations, was not called to inspect the temple despite the large crowds.

However, FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer told the Post that the wedding ‘clearly violated’ restrictions on indoor occupancy.

Religious gatherings can be held indoors, but they must take place in one room and at 50 percent capacity. Masks must also be worn and those who are not in the same household must maintain social distancing from each other.

‘The city performs a tremendous number of inspections daily, and our community outreach team is dedicated to relaying the latest happenings across the city,’ said Mitch Schwartz, the mayor’s Director of Rapid Response, as he admitted he could not explain how the wedding was not caught.

‘But let’s be clear: indoor gatherings of this size aren’t acceptable, and they’re offensive to all the sacrifices New Yorkers have made t… (Read more)

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