Hasidic Funeral in Brooklyn Draws 2,500, Creating Crisis for Mayor de Blasio
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 …continued .
[Source: New York Times]