Hasidic leader's grandson's NYC wedding ceremony barred over 10K guests, synagogue calls it 'unwarranted attack'

Marriage ceremonies and events of Zalman Teitelbaum’s kin have previously led to enormous gatherings, both in Brooklyn and in Israel


                            Hasidic leader's grandson's NYC wedding ceremony barred over 10K guests, synagogue calls it 'unwarranted attack'
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A wedding ceremony in New York City was supposed to draw in 10,000 revelers to Williamsburg on Monday, October 19. Now barred by state order due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ceremony was to be held for the grandson of noted Hasidic leader, Zalman Leib Teitelbaum.

The grandchild of the grand rabbi of the Satmar sect was to tie the knot, reports WCBS. Slated to be held at multiple venues of Rodney Street and Bedford Avenue, both these locations are that of a Satmar synagogue and the sect’s United Talmudical Academy. Teitelbaum is said to lead the Satmar sect in Williamsburg while his brother Aaron, who reportedly contracted Covid-19 in March, heads the Satmar in the Kiryas Joel enclave in Orange County.

The synagogue has offered a statement regarding the “unwarranted attacks” that forced it to stop the wedding after the Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar was served the order. They claim “nobody verified our plans before attacking us”. The statement quotes synagogue’s secretary, Chaim Jacobowitz, as saying: "The unwarranted attacks on this event, originated by those besmirching the community, are detached from the facts." Unlike the guest size suggested by authorities, only a “small circle of close family members” would actually be attending the ceremony, and “the rest of the community would only be able to participate for a short period of time".

Jacobowitz continued: "The greeting cue would have been controlled in accordance with the social distancing regulations. The proper arrangements were in place to achieve that." He alleges the publicity over the event has led to the decision to scrap the ceremony. "The publicity will turn this wedding to a paparazzi and will draw spectators that will make it impossible to control the crowds to comply with social distancing. It will also deter from the celebratory and spiritual atmosphere fit for such an affair. Hence, we decided that the wedding will not be held as planned, and will only (be) attended by close family members.”

As New York City's limit on wedding receptions is 50 people, the state issued an order barring the gathering which was supposed to be attended by thousands. As the gathering would have violated coronavirus restrictions, the order was served on Friday, October 16, night, officials told the outlet on Saturday, October 17. The people involved can request a hearing of the order with the Health Department, said Governor Andrew Cuomo’s special counsel Elizabeth Garvey, on the same day.

Marriage ceremonies and events of Teitelbaum’s kin had previously led to enormous gatherings, both in Brooklyn and in Israel. A granddaughter's nuptials in Israel saw thousands of men gathered in fur hats and black coats. Local politicians such as Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli are also said to have attended Teitelbaum's ceremonies, with the latter attending the 2014 celebration for one of Teitelbaum’s granddaughter’s — a party that took place at an armory in Williamsburg.

The news comes after the US is grappling with a massive surge in Coronavirus cases in over 30 states, with health experts warning that the country should watch out as a second wave may have started in Europe. As reported previously by MEAWW, Italy recorded 7,332 new positive coronavirus tests on Wednesday, October 14, breaking its previous record for most infections added in a single day, even as the UK reported nearly 20,000 new cases. "The UK has recorded 19,724 new coronavirus cases. That is the highest daily figure on record (excluding a day when the total was artificially inflated by previous tests) and a rise of almost 2,500 (or 14%) on the total for yesterday (October 13) (17,234)," says The Guardian. 

The Wall Street Journal's analysis suggests that the 27 countries of the European Union and the UK have now surpassed the US in terms of new cases per million for the first time since the spring. "The 27 countries of the European Union and the UK recorded 78,000 cases a day on average over a seven-day period ending on October 12, or 152 cases for every million residents. The US recorded 49,000 a day on average over the same period, about 150 for every million residents," it says. 

The rise in cases has started to reflect in hospital admissions. "The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control or ECDC said in its latest surveillance report that in 19 European countries, including France, Spain, and the UK, the number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 in early October was around a quarter or more of the level it reached during the pandemic’s April peak," suggests the article. 

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