Sharon Lee Davies-Tight 12 October 2020
• Councilman Kalman Yeger told the crowd: “We are not going to be deprived of the right that we have in America, like everybody else in America, the right to observe our religion,”…
• Community activist Heshy Tischler… “It’s called civil disobedience, we can fight back,” Tischler said after tearing up his face mask. “Do not allow them to torture you or scare you,” he said, referring to elected officials.
1- Break from tradition when not doing so harms the congregation. Science rather than superstition needs to lead the way, when there’s a preponderance of evidence that certain behavior patterns put people at unnecessary risk.
2- Protect yourself from your neighbor and your neighbor from yourself. Most people don’t know they’re contagious until they’ve already infected another person.
3- Religions should not get special exemptions, because they want to engage in behavior that’s harmful. Nowhere in the books does it state wearing masks and social distancing are not allowed.
• How are the Muslims handling it? Check in with them. You know, their community religious leaders.
• How are the Christians and Catholics handling it?
4- Viruses are real. People are dying. It doesn’t matter that millions of people die from the flu every year. What matters is there are ways to stop people from dying. Simple measures.
5- Are you ready to die? I’m not, so please wear your mask and stay six feet away from me. Okay? Don’t forget to clean the mask.
6- There are many ways to observe one’s religion. Traditional practices are not required. Get creative. I know you. Maybe Yahweh is testing your ingenuity.
7- If this outburst is in response to not being in the loop, so that you can persuade public officials to make a deal, that’s probably why you weren’t invited. They want to treat everyone the same.
8- Did you invite public officials to your rallies? Jews and non-Jews?
9- They won’t give you money to cooperate. Why should they?
10- Is the public open to your services without precondition? Make sure you’ve got all your cans in a row.
11- File photos don’t mean anything. You know why media people use them.
12- I love you all, so be careful; don’t trample on that. Don’t infect me. Okay? Respect that others are taking precautions. If you don’t want to, then stay home.
13- There’s no such thing as one hundred percent agreement. There are always people with reservations and valid concerns.
14- Jewish Lives Matter? Then stay alive. You know how to do that. It’s all about boundaries.
15- Stop skinning animals to cover your head. Afraid G-d will see you? A dead animal on top of another live animal won’t get noticed? I noticed.
16- Where does God and animal merge? When then? How? Why?
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National Review article begins here:
NYC Orthodox Community Holds Protest Over New COVID Restrictions, Chants ‘Jewish Lives Matter’
October 7, 2020
Hundreds of members of the Borough Park Orthodox community filled the streets Tuesday night to protest new restrictions imposed on neighborhoods with a surge in COVID-19 cases, which include a limit on synagogue attendance and the closure of schools and non-essential businesses.
The demonstrations, held into early Wednesday morning, grew more chaotic as the night wore on and protesters resisted orders to disperse: one person was injured “from a physical confrontation with other congregant(s),” protesters set a fire in the middle of a crosswalk and threw cardboard boxes and masks into the flames, according to NBC New York.
A significant part of Borough Park faces the new tightened restrictions which limits houses of worship to 10 people or 25 percent capacity and completely closes schools and non-essential businesses. The area is subject to the most restrictive of three color-coded categories which are assigned by coronavirus case data.
The neighborhood is among nine in New York City’s “red zone” where the coronavirus positivity rate has held above 3 percent for seven straight days. Some members of the Orthodox community say they feel they have been unfairly blamed for the rise in cases.
Community activist Heshy Tischler spoke to a large crowd that gathered on the corner of 50th Street and 15th Avenue around 9 p.m., blasting New York governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio over the restrictions which must be enforced no later than Friday, the New York Post reported.
“It’s called civil disobedience, we can fight back,” Tischler said after tearing up his face mask. “Do not allow them to torture you or scare you,” he said, referring to elected officials.
At another protest on 13th Avenue, councilman Kalman Yeger told the crowd: “We are not going to be deprived of the right that we have in America, like everybody else in America, the right to observe our religion,” according to Boro Park News.
As demonstrations continued late into the night, the number of protesters grew, with a group shutting down 13th Avenue to vehicular traffic at one point.
According to the New York Post, after two city sheriff’s deputies responded to a rubbish fire at the intersection of 46th Street and 13th Avenue after midnight, protesters chased them away and chanted “Jewish lives matter” as they held their ground.
The fire was later extinguished around 1:30 am by FDNY firefighters and police. Police say no arrests or summonses were issued, according to NBC.
Yeger and three other Jewish lawmakers — State Senator Simcha Felder, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein and Councilman Chaim Deutsch — released a joint statement earlier on Tuesday sharply criticizing the governor for the restrictions and the Cuomo administration’s “lack of coordination and communication with local officials.”
“We are appalled by Governor Cuomo’s words and actions today. He has chosen to pursue a scientifically and constitutionally questionable shutdown of our communities,” the statement read.
“His administration’s utter lack of coordination and communication with local officials has been an ongoing issue since the start of the pandemic, and particularly recently as we face this uptick,” the lawmakers continued.
The group said though they represent areas where COVID-19 has spiked, Cuomo’s administration had not kept them in the loop leading up to Tuesday’s decision to shut down the hot spots.
They also slammed Cuomo’s use of images of large gatherings of New York’s Jewish community — one of which was a 14-year-old photo — in a PowerPoint during his Monday press briefing.
“Governor Cuomo’s choice to single out a particular religious group, complete with a slideshow of photos to highlight his point, was outrageous,” the lawmakers wrote. “His language was dangerous and divisive, and left the implication that Orthodox Jews alone are responsible for rising COVID cases in New York State.”
Source: NYC Orthodox Community Holds Protest Over New COVID Restrictions, Chants ‘Jewish Lives Matter’