Hundreds of Hasidic Jews once again defied social distancing orders amid the coronavirus pandemic, taking over a Brooklyn street to hold a funeral for a local rabbi.
The massive funeral, reportedly for Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Meislish, was held Sunday night on Hewes Street near Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg.
The rabbi died of COVID-19 at the age of 80, the Yeshiva World reported.
Photos and online videos show hundreds of members of the Jewish community crowding on stoops, sidewalks and on the street.
The New York Post reports: “The funeral sparked a massive police response by officers who tried to break up the crowds by using sirens and blaring social distancing messages from PA systems on cop cars, but no citations were issued and no arrests were made, the NYPD said Monday.”
A NYPD spokesman said: “It is important to note that the vast majority are following all guidelines. The NYPD will continue to enforce social distancing and any large gathering — including services — put both members of the public and officers at risk. These gatherings must cease immediately.
“The NYPD needs all New Yorkers to cooperate with the ban on social gatherings in order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”
The report added: “There were at least two other funerals held by Hasidic Jews on the streets of Brooklyn Sunday, including one for a faith leader who reportedly died of coronavirus.
“One funeral procession took place near 55th Street and 12th Avenue in Borough Park for 78-year-old Rabbi Meir Rokeach, and the other outdoor funeral procession happened about a mile away, near 44th Street and 16th Avenue.
“In both cases police responded and asked the congregations to disperse.
“There were no arrests or citations issued in either incident, cops said.
“The funerals were held days after another Hasidic Jewish funeral brought throngs of members of the community to Avenue N near East 9th Street in Midwood.
“Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Governor Andrew Cuomo has banned crowds of 50 of more and President Trump has said Americans should avoid events with more than 10 people,” the report added.
“State and city officials have repeatedly called for New Yorkers to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet while out in public.”