Monday, August 17, 2020

Belzer Rebbe Who Flouted Health Directives Hospitalized with Coronavirus


The leader of the Belz Hassidic dynasty, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach, was admitted on Sunday to the coronavirus ward at Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Center nearly 11 days after holding a wedding for his grandson with thousands in attendance, violating health directives intended to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The wedding was held indoors at the Hassidic court's center in Jerusalem those at the venue were documented standing and dancing in close quarters and without face masks.
The event marks a major violation of social distancing regulations and assurances given to Jerusalem police by organizers.
Police fined some of the event's organizers for violating coronavirus directives and announced they will be launching a criminal investigation after documentations from the event appeared in the media.
The Belzer Rebbe has been openly dismissive of health ministry directives aiming the slow the spread of the pathogen which is prevalent among ultra-Orthodox communities.
The Rebbe had held mass prayers and religious lessons in the months leading up to the wedding and was accompanied at the Western Wall by large groups of people who were not wearing masks or observing social distancing.
The Hassidic court explained that the Rabbi viewed the spiritual damage caused to his followers from health directives to be much greater than any risk to their physical health.

The Rebbe's followers were also instructed to avoid reporting any illness to authorities in fear that mass coronavirus contagion could lead to further restrictions on the community.

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Karma is a bitch- even if you don't believe in it!!!! LOL!!!

Shoresh Poreh Rosh veLaanah said...

https://www.liherald.com/stories/five-towners-diagnosed-with-covid-19-after-camp,127055

Michael Leon, who lives in Woodmere where the largest initial outbreak of Cobid-19 took place in the Five Towns posted on Facebook. “This is outrageous. Camp Shoresh apparently knew campers were displaying symptoms and did not have the courtesy to have them tested.” Leon went on to write that, “unfortunately some people in this community just do not take this issue seriously enough.”

On Camp Shoresh’s website there is a six-page listing of its Covid-19 protocols. According to its mission it is, "a camp for teenage boys, focused on helping mold well rounded Bnei-Torah and athletes." The goal, camp officials stated on the site is to teach the fundamentals of several sports through daily clinics, leagues, and intercamps with role models and teachers. The camp aims to combine Torah, sports and fun trips and activities designed to ensure an "incredible summer experience" for the campers.

As of press time calls to the camp for comment were not returned.

Satmar in Cahoots with Agudah Feif on Cuomo said...

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Kids-packed-into-Jewish-summer-camps-operating-15483924.php

100s of children packed in buses & brought to 6+ Jewish camps in Ulster County, triggered a battle with officials who asked a judge to shut the facilities allegedly violating zoning & COVID restrictions.

The 6 camps & at least one operated as a school, are in Wawarsing, at the base of the Catskills.

The town also received reports buses drive campers from Brooklyn to neighboring Sullivan Co. at night, to stay at other camps.

Jeff Kaplan, attorney who reps the camps, said 2 camps don't host children. Rather, families stay on site.

Kaplan said town enforcement wander from one issue to another, after it's clear children don't stay overnight.

"The town goal was whether authorized by the state or not, they don’t want camps. Town officials grasp for areas not part of the allegations."


After police responded to the large camp, Rav Tov in Wawarsing, Phil Mattracion, police chief in Ellenville, wrote Wawarsing Supervisor Terry Houck describing the scene.

"Upon arrival I observe numerous buses dropping off 100s. People walk in large groups off buses filled to capacity. No one had masks or social distanced. When the pandemic takes hold & we have executive orders, the camp put 100s lives at stake, and the safety of this community."

Mattracion said a rabbi assured him they follow DOH guidelines & take temperatures. The chief responded to assist State Police after a motorist complained a bus forced him off the road & that the town asked him to document what he saw.

Houck declined comment on litigation & enforcement, but said the town's concerned about safety of all visitors & residents.

John Bailey, attorney for the town, said code officers were denied access to the camps so they obtained a court order. They found inoperable smoke detectors, stove without exhaust & barricaded doors.

"It's clear they operate overnight camps, permitted or not. Kaplan admits to the Times Union there are people sleeping in camps. It's clear there are many 100s of children ferried around jam packed buses without distancing & masks. The town hasn't been provided their plan."

Code officers have difficulty investigating because operators prevent them from entering or only consent if given a day's notice.

It's unclear how many people stay overnight.

Camp operators waged a counterattack, obtaining temporary residence permits from the County. And a group representing many camps filed a federal suit challenging Cuomo. The lawsuit is pending.

In a parallel battle, Wawarsing filed in state Supreme Court asking a judge to order the camps shut down, alleging violation of zoning & state virus orders.

The town argues facilities permitted as "overnight" violate permits by hosting day camps with 100s of children bused each day, and failure to follow distancing & other requirements.

The camps obtain temporary residence permits from the County & assert permits allow them to operate. But Kaplan, who's also mayor of Ellenville, said the permits were used at camps where parents & children stay in bungalows.

The town contends temporary residence use "must be a permitted use for the District in which located & the owner must receive approvals + COs & permits." That hasn't been done.

The petition includes an affidavit from Arkady Aleksandryants, neighbor of Rav Tov, who said camp buses park illegally on his property & he's observed 100s of children & buses loaded.

"I observe children not wearing masks & not any distancing," Aleksandryants said.

Agudath Israel's Assoc. of Jewish Camps didn't respond to request for comment. State DOH couldn't be reached.

With courts slowed due to the pandemic, it's possible a permanent injunction shutting down the camps may not be resolved before they close for the season.

Unknown said...

Refuah shleima, Rebbe.