About Damn Time

I understand that a wedding, particularly the wedding of the grandson of a prominent rabbi, will traditionally be a time of celebration, but authorities were correct to shut down a wedding in the Hasicic community that would have had over 10,000 guests.

After the debacle that was the Sturgis rally, where thousands, if not tens of thousands of cases resulted, it is clear that these sorts of large social events are a clear and present danger to society.

The one of first steps to mending the world (תיקון עולם) is not to spread disease during a pandemic:

New York State health officials have taken extraordinary steps to shut down an ultra-Orthodox wedding planned for Monday that could have had brought up to 10,000 guests to Brooklyn, near one of New York City’s coronavirus hot spots.

The state health commissioner personally intervened to have sheriff’s deputies deliver the order to the Hasidic synagogue on Friday, warning that it must follow health protocols, including limiting gatherings to fewer than 50 people.

On Sunday, the synagogue, the Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar, accused state officials of “unwarranted attacks” on the wedding, where a grandson of Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, the synagogue’s rabbi, was to be married. The congregation said that the ceremony and meal would have been restricted to “close family members,” while the public would have been invited to participate only “for a short period of time.”

The wedding will continue, the synagogue said, but will be limited to a smaller group of family members. “It’s sad that nobody verified our plans before attacking us,” Chaim Jacobowitz, the congregation’s secretary, said in a statement.

The state health commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker, took the rare step of issuing what is known as a Section 16 order, which can carry a daily fine of $10,000 if violated. The state has issued dozens of Section 16 orders during the pandemic.

A wedding involving 10,000 guests is insane even when you are not in the midst of a pandemic.

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