New York Governor Mario Cuomo is hopping mad about the recent wedding of Yoel Teitelbaum, grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelman, which was held at the Yetev Lev synagogue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There were reportedly more than 7,000 guest at the celebration in clear violation of New York State Covid-19 restrictions on large gatherings.
The Governor said at a press conference Sunday, “It was a blatant disregard of the law. It’s illegal. It was also disrespectful to the people of New York. The law protects everybody. It protects you, but it also protects me.”
“If 7,000 people went to a wedding, you can figure that out, right? That’s the problem with a ‘secret’ 7,000. It’s hard to keep a secret,” he said.
The New York Post reported on the wedding. It cited the Satmar Yiddish language newspaper Der Blatt as acknowledging that plans for the wedding were made in secret because of New York’s tough restrictions on public gatherings because of the Corona Virus.
“In recent weeks, organizers worked tirelessly to arrange everything in the best way possible. All notices about upcoming celebrations were passed along through word of mouth, with no notices in writing, no posters on the synagogue walls, no invitations sent through the mail, nor even a report in any publication, including this very newspaper,” boasted the Satmar newspaper.
This was probably done to prevent a repeat of what happened last month when New York State succeeded in stopping another super-sized wedding from taking place in Brooklyn.
On that possibility, Governor Cuomo added, “It’s my information the city is investigating. They should investigate, and if 7,000 people were at a wedding, I’m sure they’ll be able to figure it out, and then we’ll bring the full consequences of legal action to bear.”
“If it turns out that, because we stopped that wedding, the reaction was, ‘well we’ll have a secret wedding,’ that would be really shocking and totally deceitful from the conversations that I had, because I had personal conversations with members of the community.”
The ultra-orthodox community in Israel has also been flouting the Corona Virus restrictions there. Multiple such weddings with thousands of attendees have been held in the last six months. Today the Haredi leader Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky even went so far as to issue and edict which requires all of the girls in his community to return to their schools immediately. This in spite of the continuation of most school closings as ordered by the Israeli Government.