A prominent Hasidic rabbi who tested positive for COVID-19 last week continued leading large indoor prayer services in Borough Park this weekend — even after the New York City Sheriff’s Office issued the synagogue a fine for violating the governor’s hot spot restrictions.
The Bobov-45 shul was one of five religious congregations in Borough Park that received a $15,000 fine on Saturday for flouting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s order that houses of worship limit attendance in neighborhoods currently experiencing a resurgence of coronavirus cases.
“Some of these big congregations raise [hundreds of thousands of] dollars on this holiday alone,” said Heshy Friedman, a 57-year-old Borough Park resident who opposes the governor’s lockdown orders. “Fifteen thousand dollars isn’t a big deal for them. It’s worth it, like an expense.”
The sheriff’s office says it’s not their job to ensure people don’t return to venues already cited for violations.
For five hours on Friday, roughly 300 people illegally gathered without masks inside the Bobov-45 synagogue on 15th Avenue. Mordechai Dovid Unger, the Covid-19-positive grand rabbi of the hasidic dynasty, led the ceremony from behind a plexiglass shield.https://t.co/kbtC2yfG4o
— Shmarya Rosenberg (@Shmarya) October 10, 2020