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The event showed the challenges that officials have faced in addressing the flouting of social distancing in close-knit ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods.
Soon after a revered Hasidic rabbi died of the coronavirus in Brooklyn on Tuesday, his fellow congregants informed the Police Department of an unexpected decision: Despite the coronavirus restrictions now in place, they would hold a public funeral.
The local police precinct did not stand in their way, a testament to the Hasidic community’s influence in the Williamsburg neighborhood. By 3:30 p.m., police officers began erecting barricades, expecting a small number of mourners to show up. Loudspeakers were put up to help mourners hear while keeping their distance.
But by 7:30 p.m., an estimated 2,500 ultra-Orthodox Jewish men had arrived to mourn Rabbi Chaim Mertz, packing together shoulder-to-shoulder on the street and on the steps of brownstones, clearly violating social distancing guidelines and turning the funeral into one of the most fraught events of the virus crisis for Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Police began to disperse the mourners, some of whom were not wearing masks. Word of the gathering soon reached City Hall, where the mayor decided to go to Brooklyn to oversee the dispersal himself.
Coronavirus-COVIDー19-NEW YORK / 2 500 personnes en deuil bloquent un enterrement hassidique.Des centaines de personnes se sont rassemblées mardi dans les rues de Williamsburg pour les funérailles d'un rabbin qui serait mort de Covid-19
Tag(s) : #secte, #sciences, #religion, #judaisme, #intégriste
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