NYC Mayor To Synagogues: Close For Coronavirus Or Be Shut Down Permanently

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NEW YORK (JTA) – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants people to know that live worship services this weekend will be shut down by city officials.

“If you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church, and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services,” de Blasio said Friday afternoon.

He cited smaller synagogues among the “few dozen” violators of city rules designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

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89 COMMENTS

    • I had the same question.

      Good luck on Pesach . I just lived thru another Shabbos being locked up . I will not Survive a 3 day Pesach with no minyan for tal, duchaning and hallel . And so won’t many .

      The refua can’t be worse than the illness . Enough is enough already . World has gone mad

        • well if your solution to solve the problem is mentally torture the masses for weeks in end, then yes you will exacerbate it. You and your ilk would be wiser encouraging safe solutions that still maintain social distance while not completely isolating our lives. For example, an outdoor minyan, only 10 people per minyan, only once a shabbos per person, everyone must wear masks etc…

          You can yell all you want about us being selfish, this is unsustainable over a 3 day peasach after a month of being locked up

          • Very sad that we have selfish people like you who would rather watch the world burn than suffer for a few weeks, like the vast majority understand is a necessity here. Is it true that Trump supporters are coddled babies who don’t understand what self-sacrifice means. Everything is what I want and nothing about what is good to build a better society and tomorrow.

          • As always, I see Archie as being 100% correct. Thank you sir for printing the majority zeitgeist into succinct paragraphs.

      • Archy,

        With all due respect, I’m also locked up for a few weeks already, and it is very difficult. I really feel your pain.

        But the question is not what WE want, it is what hashem wants from us. Do you think he wants our Tal with a minyan? Or Hallel with a minyan? Saving a life is more important than keeping the Torah.

        It seems like B’H no one in your circles is sick. I have numerous people in my circles that are sick/or R’L have passed.

        Hang in there. I guarantee you won’t regret doing the right thing!

        • Many in my circle are sick including in my own family . I am keenly aware of its severity

          Yes I think hashem wants to hear our tal and duchaning. Not bec of each thing per say but rather hashem wants us to feel a tam in yom tov or why do we live .

          I’d done correctly it’s risk is minimum . Yes I think after being locked up for so long hashem does want this. Enough is enough . You can’t stay locked up like this . At a limited point it’s ok to go with emuna peshuta.

          • So I suppose all those rabbonim who paskened that one should not daven with a private minyan during this crisis–they must not only be mistaken in pesak halacha, but also defective in emuna peshuta.
            And I suppose all those doctors who said it’s not safe–you know better than them too.
            Not only that, you can read Hashem’s mind too.
            So wonderful to know that in the midst of this crisis, with healthy middle aged people in our community dropping dead, we have you around to tell us better.

          • You assured us that this was nothing more than a flu… Not sure you are capable of judging how this can be done safely. As long as there is community spread there is no safe way to daven together. Social distancing apparently has to be at least 26 feet (not 6 feet) and even that does not assure that droplets in the air with this don’t get to you (as they stay in the air for several hours). At least at that distance, we can probably assume the chance of transmission is very minor, but that is not enough to say that making a minyan is proper now.

          • David you’ll be surprised how many rabbonim quietly endorse small safe distant minyanim. Furthermore, Pesach is different than a regular Tuesday .

        • Moshe, I think you’re missing the point.

          Keeping the Torah means doing what it demands from us in a particular situation, not what we feel comfortable doing.

          In this situation the Torah requires us to stay safe. Pikuach nefesh outweighs tefilah betzibur. A person who violates Venishmartem me’od lenafshoteichem in order to keep tefilah betzibur is NOT keeping the Torah.

          “uBotzeah berach noetz Hashem.”

          • We all understand the difficulty of being locked up and that you are simply looking for a social interaction which is understandable. But pls don’t blame tal or duchining.

          • Divury chizik, it’s the combination of the two . The tal and duchaning is the social interaction that’s dear to our core Jewish values much deeper than hlacha

      • when I was rov in Richmond working hard to get a minyan together and people wouldn’t help us now know what it feels like not having a minyan.

      • You write “I will not Survive a 3 day Pesach with no minyan for tal, duchaning and hallel”

        What makes you unique among just about all Yidden here and in most of the rest of the world, who are obeying our rabbanim and not having minyanim? You can’t be that much of a cry baby, Archy.

    • He cited small synagogues as violators already. Not fair to police who have to respond to these calls of a shul operating. Not fair to their families. Not fair to their co-workers.

      • I believe you might be misinformed
        There was a clip circulating of moslems attending mosque in Flatbush as recently as last Friday
        Doesn’t make keeping Shuls open right
        But this part time mayor is a full time idiot

    • I’m Christian but I support the Jewish people 100%. In fact I support *everyone* to have the right to peaceful religious freedom.

      I think that it’s beyond obvious at this point that a vast majority of radical Democrats want to silence and delegitimize Christians and Jews. Some even want to openly harm or kill them.

      Bill De Blasio’s comment was unconstitutional, discriminatory (he’s playing favorites with certain religions over others) and it’s 100% indefensible!

  1. I live in lakewood there isn’t a single shul open, and has net been for 2 weeks now, are there shuls actually still open in Brooklyn? Are people out of thier mind?

  2. Sadly yes. Even some mikvos
    If they were only “out of their minds” it would be bad enough, the problem is that they are murderers putting other lives in danger
    I hope he does shut them down – permanently. Should take away their tax exemptions

  3. Why doesn’t this do-nothing Mayor threaten the Muslim Mosques as well? Why was the Mosque on Coney between R & S open for business as usual this past Friday??? Is the Mayor afraid of being called a racist??? Was HE threatened not to start up with the Muslim faith?

    • The cops in that precinct are afraid of the Muslims. When they have services they double park up and down the block without getting tickets. If anyone else would do that they’d get promptly ticketed.

  4. What a reeziga chilul hashem this is, if indeed shuls were still open, and I hate to say it, they should be closed down for ever, we don’t need these buildings of toavose open

  5. Minyan: W Elm, 5,6.8,11 streets. Norwalk Ave, beach 12&14th, president st at least 5 of them. Upper west side 88&90th streets. Chicago has at least 4 between roger pk and Peterson pk, los angles on la brea and Menlo Park.
    Plenty in b p

  6. This is the NYS LAW: what DeBlaz says in irrelevant
    Houses of worship are not ordered closed however it is strongly recommended no congregate services be held and social distance maintained.

  7. Based on the quote given, it appears that the headline for this report is inaccurate and misleading.

    The threat was to shut down specific services, not to shut violators down permanently.

  8. Meanwhile , on CNN, diBlasio is walking back his comments 3 weeks ago that NYkers should go and dine and enjoy the streets despita Coronavirus. Google it.. Of course, he’s now on board with Trump to “move ahead”.

  9. Fanatic behavior has nothing to do with Judaism.

    These idiots who insist on going to shul in middle of this Magaifa are evil.

    They have nothing to do with Judaism and as a result they should be shunned.

    • Yup, mesiras nefesh had nothing to do with yiddishkeit…

      I agree that they shouldn’t be doing this and I personally have not been to a minyan in almost 3 weeks, but to say that fanatic behavior has nothing to do with Judaism belies the fact that your relationship with Judaism is far too rational and maybe even veltish.

      Agav, I do not consider going to minyan at a time like this to be mesiras nefesh, I consider it tipshus.

      But to say that fanatic behavior, irrational, or better, suprarational behavior, had nothing to do with Judaism is a galaxy. Yiddishkeit has rational (limud HaTorah) and suprarational (emunah, bitachon, davening to an eibershter who is far beyond our greatest reasoning and understanding, Kabolas ol, etc). We need both. The question is just when and where do we need what.
      All the best

      • I can only tell you that for some it’s not a tipshis and prob the Ratzon hashem .

        I know of one Kehillah , whose whole Yiddishkiet is based on uniting and Davening with a flame fire . From brichos to alienu. Without the tzibur es davent nisht . That’s the fundamental of their Yiddishkiet

        • In ordinary times that’s a wonderful form of Avoda.

          But right now, it’s an אֵ֣שׁ זָרָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֧ר לֹ֦א צִוָּ֖ה אֹתָֽם. Worse, it’s something that is specifically prohibited, and superseded by another mitzvah.

          For “Yiddishkeit” to call itself “Yiddishkeit” (I prefer to call it something else, being Sefardi, but that’s another topic) its fundamental must be obedience to Torah and Halacha.

          I have every confidence that people who are capable of such wonderful Avoda will be able with the help of a qualified posek to find other avenues to refocus their energies.

          In the meantime we are all better off not making self-fulfilling insanity predictions. Take one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time, one second at a time. Breathe.

          Remember that there are people in our society–some of them innocent–who are locked up for much longer terms, in much harsher conditions, in much worse company. If they manage to stay sane, so can we.

          • I don’t think we as an entire community can stay sane and locked up like this forever . And if it’s done safely we are not convinced that at least at high times like Pesach ( even if not every day ) it’s not against Yiddishkiet. It’s what we stand for . Sorry I don’t buy it . If you can go to the grocery you can hear duchaning once a month

        • This has nothing to do with Judaism.
          There are people that feel the need to socialize, to go dancing…..etc
          This is no different. Someone who needs his high with a geshmake davening is no different. It might make him feel good but if it’s not what a hashem wants then it’s the most abominable thing to do.

  10. In his tweet DeBlasio wrote: “if you hold large gatherings at a house of worship”, that means more than 50 people or without social distancing, as the Health Department required. He didn’t say that he is making a new rule. or that he will sign a new rule that even less than 50 shouldn’t be allowed!!!!

    • While I agree that the Shuls SHOULD be closed, they do not have to be, legally. The governor’s executive order, NY Pause clearly states:

      “Houses of worship are not ordered closed however it is strongly recommended no congregate services be held and social distance maintained.”

      So in truth DeBlasio’s threat, to permanently close the shuls that are open (look up the full quote), is actually against the law. Not that he isn’t morally right (much as it might pain me to say so).

  11. Fake news. Fake statement. Fake threat. The Mayor has no legal way to shut down a Synagogue permanently. This is not like a teacher threatening a student, if you don’t stop talking in class you won’t be allowed to go out for recess for the rest of the year. Totally empty immature threat with no legal backing. He can fine them and penalize them but he can NOT shut down a house of prayer permanently.

  12. The real threat should be that if you don’t close down your shul IMMEDIATELY then when this all goes away we will shut you down permanently AND WE WILL TAKE AWAY YOUR 501 CHARITY status. I have NO DOUBT that they will start listening

    • A Shul is not necessarily a charity. Even if a building/address were to lose its status, one can still gather and pray there. A lot of Shuls/shteeble’s are in private homes anyway. If the Mayor, who’s on his last term, tries to shut down permanently houses of worship as “punishment”, it will completely backfire. The ACLU will never allow it.

  13. All of you, You are all right!! However you Must Realize that Everything is from Hashem, and at this point in time Hashem DOES NOT WANT YOU TO DAVEN WITH A MINYAN!! Hashem does Not want Your children to go to Yeshivah!! Hashem Does Not Want you to Make Simchas Together!! ALL OF THIS IS FROM HASHEM and even the Entire World Agrees, this is coming from Hashem!! So what does this mean? There are plenty of messages for us!! You all know and understand, however, Whatever Hashem does is always Good For Us!! So the fact that you are all so Matzar (pained) by the Fact that You Cant Daven with Minyan, IS A VERY BIG ZCHUS FOR ALL OF US!! Hashem sits back and Sees, Now You cant Talk in Middle Of Davening!! You are alone, in your homes, Lets see How ehrlich You Are davening!!! Hashem sees all the Yeshivah Boys wanting to Learn Together, Being Matzar (pained) and are setting up shiurum on the phone with Chavrusa!! What A BIG ZCHUS THIS IS FOR KLAL YISROEL!! Don’t you see?? Hashem sees with all our Faults we WANT TO BE GOOD!! This is our TSHUVAH!! Thank Hashem you are in YOUR HOMES, WITH YOUR FAMILIES, BEING SAFE, THANK HASHEM WE CAN BREATHE, EAT, DAVEN, BENTCH, MOVE, And when Hashem sees all this and HOW THANKFUL WE ARE FOR ALL WE HAVE, OUR FAMILIES, OUR HEALTH, OUR LIVES, THANK YOU HASHEM, The Geulah will come!! Lets TRY TO STOP COMPLAINING!!! LETS UNDERTAKE A LITTLE THING, BE HAPPY, BSIMCHA, NO MORE COMPLAINING!!! ALWAYS REMEMBER EIN OID MELVADO, THERE IS ONLY HASHEM, WE HAVE NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF BECAUSE THERE IS ONLY HASHEM!! PUT YOUR TRUST AND EMUNAH, AND BITOCHON!!! AND ALL IS GOOD!! COPY AND PASTE THIS AND FEEL FREE TO PASS IT ON

  14. I didn’t realize that there was a mosque on Coney Island Avenue and Avenue H. I moved out of that neighborhood nearly 50 years ago. Incidentally, I agree that any Shul which remains open, whether in Brooklyn, Lakewood, or elsewhere, should be permanently closed. I’m not talking about issuing a few desk summonses. Rather, those responsible should have their respective tuchas’ jailed.

  15. I live on what you would call a typical Boro Park block. I can safely assume what went on on my block went on on many Boro Park blocks. There were at least two private minyanim in houses. I even saw an elderly neighbor about 80 yrs old wrapped up in his raincoat going to one of the minyanim. Many in our community don’t listen to the radio or have the internet. They are truly still clueless. I don’t know why Hatzala, Shomrim, Shmira, chavarim don’t go door to door telling people the seriousness of the situation. My rov said daven Biyichidus so that’s what I did.

  16. I undestand why many yidden here in Brooklyn are davening in shuls. When you have an atheistic government of democrats who are into euthanasia and same gender marriage then Jews must be mosser nefesh and do even the smallest mitzvah and give up their lives just as the three cardinal sins.

  17. You can’t stay home and pray for (the 3 day) the up coming yom tov Because it’s to much you say I’m Sending you this message lying in a hospital bed Struggling to breathe for two weeks already need I have to explain you more

  18. I would agree to shut everything down, if this virus justified that. It does not. It is a black eye for the government, but this virus is not so severe that it justifies imprisoning the entire population, the total suspension of civil rights, and destroying the economy with no end in site. trump is talking about things improving in JUNE. That is not even going to be the case. According the those begging for this suspension of civil rights, 2.2 million people will die from the disease if we do nothing. And that amounts to about 0.7% of the population, well within lines of other epidemics and diseases and we have NEVER shutdown society like this or suspended civil rights. In 1918, Major League Baseball never missed a game because of the epidemic. Simply put, this is not the black plague and this government response is wreckless and over the top. Honestly, people who defend it in a knee jerk fashion and take out there ire on posters are in the wrong here. People, humans, can not go months without contact, without causing permanent emotional damage to each other, and without destroying the very economic infrastructure that we need to fight the disease.

    • Mrbrkkyn
      Given how pervasive it is, sounds like you are suggesting let’s have all the old die so you can go to minyan. Even if you act safely. 10 people and one person slips and inadvertently people come to help and boom. Or someone sneezes and it lingers beyond 6 feet. It’s that pernicious.
      What’s so terrible. Or how about what’s so terrible that as the hospitals can’t cope people will die from other illness. Maybe we shouldn’t even treat people with virus. Just let them die already so we can restart the economy and you can go to minyan. Notice how often they remind us 80 pct do ok. Then we start hearing anecdotal stories of infants, young healthy people. They don’t know yet, that is why.
      What about the Spanish flu? Do you want to live in a world millions die? Just so you can go to minyan? Or even make a living. If you knew your entire family would be wiped out for that choice would you volunteer for that sacrifice for all of us?
      Or don’t make it either or.
      Start identifying who had it already and get them back to work.

    • Have you seen the tehilim lists? The list of frum, chashuva yidden who have died from this? The sheer number of people who are the in the hospitals with limited resources to treat them with?! Some people need to take their heads out of the clouds and realize that this is running rampant through OUR community. Look at Israel. 50% of the people hospitalized with this virus are chareidi, because they are the ones who think that this doesn’t apply to minyanim and chasunas. The gedolim say to daven at home but individuals know better? Speak on the phone, through teleconference or whatever and figure out how to entertain yourself on shabbos. Based on what’s going on around us, this is clearly NOT a government overreaction.

  19. We shouldn’t care what the mosques are doing, or what our neighbors are doing. We need to follow daas Torah. That has always been true. Unless someone has a psak they can attend a minyan they can’t since that is the consensus of the gedolim, litvish, chassidesh and sefarad.

  20. Tune in to montreal torah center on zoom. Com…….to attend a daily minion on computer thank Hashem for modern technology….
    We have a virtual minion every day

  21. Stupid people. Moslem and mosques are not part of the traditional American landscape. Name one Moslem you read about in American history. Jews have been in NY since the 1650s and since then, Jewish people have influenced history. Fools you are. You think and want Moslems to be mentioned as if they are mainstream. American values are Judeo-Christian.

    That brings me to another compliant. Why do Jewish leaders group Moslems in their civil rights pleadings. Again, Moslems are not seen as a new foreign element and no jury is going to rule in favor of someone that tries to change that.

    Call me a bigot but learn some history.

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