New York Serves Cease-And-Desist Order To Tolaas Yaakov Shul After Repeated Social Distancing Violations

Hundreds of mourners gather in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Tuesday, April 28, 2020, to observe a funeral for Rabbi Chaim Mertz, a Hasidic Orthodox leader whose death was reportedly tied to the coronavirus. The stress of the coronavirus' toll on New York City's Orthodox Jews was brought to the fore on Wednesday after Mayor Bill de Blasio chastised "the Jewish community" following the breakup of the large funeral that flouted public health orders.(Peter Gerber via AP)

NEW YORK (VINnews) — Congregation Kahal Tolaas Yaakov in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, whose leader Rabbi Chaim Mertz passed away from COVID-19 two weeks ago, was served with a cease-and-desist order by the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on Friday due to the congregation’s continued violations of the state’s executive order regarding gatherings and religious service.

The congregation was in the spotlight recently after the NYPD broke up a huge funeral gathering for Rabbi Mertz which violated social distancing restrictions. In the wake of the funeral, Mayor De Blasio caused an uproar after he singled out the Jewish community in a tweet where he termed the gathering and other such gatherings “absolutely unacceptable.” De Blasio later apologized for targeting the Jewish community and the congregation released a statement expressing “regret” for the controversy.

However after the congregation held a memorial service a week after the funeral for Mertz in which over 100 people participated, the city decided to take action against them and served them a cease-and-desist order to stop them from continuing their illegal activity.

Olivia Lapeyrolerie, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office, said in a statement to the Jewish Insider that “while we know how important faith is during this time of crisis, this behavior is unacceptable, dangerous and reckless. If this house of worship continues to defy the City and State’s executive order, the building will be shut down.”



Follow VosIzNeias For Breaking News Updates is here to help you manage your home without the stress. Go to for recipes, menu planners, kids' activities, and more.


  1. The mayer better watch it, he is biting the hand that feeds them, we won’t throw money at the Mayer anymore everything he asks us for all the millions we have been sending him

  2. The curve is down and everyone got it already. You guys all said two weeks and now it’s over a month . Stop this craziness. Israel reopened so can we. You can’t lock people on caves forever. We need grassroots efforts to end this madness.

    (I have a very easy solution to end Israel’s sucide bomings too. Just social distance forever. Arabs won’t be enticed to bomb a store with one person in it. That’s obviously ludicrous. End the madness )

      • So do it slowly here too. When Israel started its lockdown is no longer tne issue . How many are being infected now in frum communities are the issue . Our curve is down for a month and almost no new cases in two weeks already . We are now at the sane safety level as Israel . 70% of the frum got it in both places . Slowly reopen . I agree with that . Buy it’s time to reopen

        • Archy, you are as usual mistaken. I have 2 close relatives who have come down with the virus this past week. Both come from households where social distancing was practiced. masks were worn and minimal trips made to grocers.
          Neither was within 6 feet of the other.
          I won’t use my name since it may hurt children’s’ shiduchim.

    • do you really want to venture out when the MASHCHIS is looking for you and anyone else
      would you let your kids out to roam free then visit your Zaidy & Bubby
      have you never had the Mumps or Measles as a kid and had to stay home ask someone older about what they did in the time of Polio
      do you want your reputation here to be someone who is willing to judge and execute both young and old just so your kids can go back to school or that you can do everything you did before the same way you did it before

      what if the #’s were still very high (one can argue like now NY) and in your town again with high #’s made it law that you are free to go out and do what you want is that what you are waiting to hear and be the 1st on the street because THEY SAID SO or do you have common sense and say i will see what happens to those who went out 1st
      do you have your own law

      • Firstly the numbers are now way low .

        Secondly as a public policy I am telling you that extended lockdowns are unsustainable. You simply can’t keep masses locked up forever . I am not arguing what you should medically do over here . I am arguing what physically will happen if you think this is the solution . Physically the masses will not comply . In the Gemara there’s a concept where we’d like to enact a law but the “ tzibur” cannot withhold the law so we can’t

        • And also not educated…

          Educated Archy March 18, 2020 7:48 am at 7:48 am
          Again hocking achink with paranoia that 2m jews will get it . I am not maching Avek the severity but hey get real . Stop it with your fake news and fear mongoring. You still believe Trump will turn on jews too? A few thousand Yiden will get it and hopefully no one will die . Once weather warms up it will be like Chiba and go bye bye .
          Stop instilling fake fears and stay calm and safe

    • Thus only 13 – 50 year old cant be locked up all others can.
      Thus only fully healthy and slim people can’t be locked up all others can.
      Just wondering which psycho school you graduated from ? Or was it some Yeshivah “degree” place?
      Or option C – maybe just shtusim to begin with….

  3. What about those that are on the border of obesity but after kiddish gain enough weight to go over the scale. Will they be allowed out the door.
    The mayor is a whacko.
    He fined President Trump ten thousand dollars for keeping the public hallway in Trump tower closed. Trump should not give him a dime. How could we of elected two idiots in NY. The governor and the mayor. Two looney DemocRATs

  4. A lot of people outside of Williamsburg are not aware who this great Rabbi Mertz was the son of. His father was a giant. Now I understand why G-d made his funeral a massive issue. It’s interesting how every Jewish group defended his funeral against Deblassio. Never before has there been such unity. From extreme left wing to right wing all piled up against the mayor. The Rabbis father is buried in Dean New Jersey and people with kids off the derech go to his grave to beseech his help. There is a system what to do. There is a famous segulah of taking a brick and putting it in the oven with childs name when you bake challahs. After a second week you take brick to tzaddiks grave. The old satmar rebbe ztl recommended bringing the bricks to rabbi mertz gravesite in Dean NJ. I have seen tons of bricks at his grave

  5. Even if the Mayor says we can open shuls wouldnt we be STUPID and RECKLESS to do so? Didnt anyone learn halacha? Even a small chance of pikuach nefesh overrides minyans.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here