Hasidic Jews Organize New Funeral Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

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Hundreds of Hasidic Jews once again challenged orders of social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, invading a Brooklyn street to organize the funeral of a local rabbi.

The massive funeral, believed to have taken place for Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Meislish, was held Sunday evening on Hewes Street near Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg.

The rabbi died of COVID-19 at the age of 80, The Yeshiva World reported.

Online photos and videos show hundreds of members of the Jewish community crammed on poles, sidewalks and on the street.

The funeral sparked a massive police response by officers who attempted to break the crowd using sirens and glaring social distancing messages from public address systems on police cars, but no quotes were issued. and no arrests have been made, the NYPD said on Monday.

“The NYPD needs all New Yorkers to cooperate in banning social gatherings to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” said a police spokesperson.

“It is important to note that the vast majority follow all of the guidelines. The NYPD will continue to apply social distancing and any large gathering – including services – will endanger members of the public and officers. These rallies must stop immediately, “added the spokesman.

There were at least two other funerals held by Hasidic Jews on the streets of Brooklyn on Sunday, including one for a religious leader who died of the coronavirus.

A funeral procession took place near 55th Street and 12th Avenue in Borough Park for Rabbi Meir Rokeach, 78 years old, and the other outdoor funeral procession took place about a mile away, near 44th Street and 16th Avenue.

In both cases, the police responded and asked the congregations to disperse.

There were no arrests or quotes issued in the two incidents, the police said.

The funeral took place a few days after another Hasidic Jewish funeral brought a crowd of community members to N Avenue near East 9th Street in Midwood.

In the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo banned crowds of 50 more and President Trump said Americans should avoid events with more than 10 people.

State and city officials have repeatedly called on New Yorkers to maintain a distance of at least six feet when in public.

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