Opinion: Wake Up Belz, It’s Corona

Ultra orthodox jewish men and youth seen during a protest against the closure on the Romema and Kiryat Belz neighborhoods in Jerusalem that is currently under a lock down in an attempt to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, on July 12, 2020. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

An Op-Ed

JERUSALEM  — The recent closure imposed on the Romema neighborhood in Jerusalem was not just because of the spiraling levels of coronavirus in the region, as, unfortunately, there are at present in Israel a number of “red” zones where the virus has seen near exponential growth. However, the alarming nature of some of the Belz Hasidim’s approach to the virus required a government response and a wake-up call for one of the largest Hasidic groups in Jerusalem.

Put simply, some members of this Hasidic sect seem to largely ignore the virus and continue to act in the belief that it is not truly a mortal threat. Hundreds of Hasidim continue to attend the “Tish” (table) of the Rebbe each week without maintaining social distance and without proper adherence to wearing masks. People who are sick within the community are advised to stay at home and not go to be checked for coronavirus. As a result infections continue to rise daily.

When Israeli journalist Yair Sharki came to report about the closure last week, he was attacked by local Hasidim and told not to report from there. Sharki wrote that “in no Chareidi community was I assaulted like I was.. from Belz. The explanation is painful- after they categorically violated the regulations during the first wave, even now in Belz they know they have what to hide: Belittling the masks, families not being tested despite exhibiting symptoms. I heard the sharpest criticism of their behavior from within the Chareidi community and from within Belz itself, from Hasidim who wish to remain anonymous but who are scared of becoming infected. This is the reason it was the first region on which a closure was imposed.”

Belz cannot continue to act as if the virus is over – as the virus has claimed some prominent members of the community. Last May, the venerated Rosh Yeshiva of all of the Belz yeshivos, Rabbi Shmuel Rosengarten, passed away from the virus at the age of 87. On Shabbos, one of the most prominent members of Belz who for many years was the director-general of the Belz Institutions, Rabbi Moshe Yosef Oberlander, passed away at the young age of 60. Chareidi sites wrote that he had suffered a stroke and died but tens of angry Chasidim and even family members wrote back that he had died of coronavirus after being on a ventilator for a week and that his son and brother are still hospitalized with the virus.

Evidently, the attempts to ignore the virus continue even in the media but when will Belz wake up to the harsh truth: The virus is still rampant and extreme steps must be taken to combat it.



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  1. I think very soon אי”ה BELZ will be on top. As they will be over with the virus because all the חסידים will have antibodies.look what happened to the חרדי community in new york.

  2. Belz will be Belz.
    I was walking in BP and I saw young adolescent age students walking and eating, dropping their garbage on the sidewalk as they walked. I followed them as they returned to their BELZ yeshiva. I asked them why they threw their garbage on the sidewalk and they just laughed.

    I daven in a Shtiebel all my life but to be a pig is not the derech I was taught.

    • This is not limited to Belz, unfortunately you could find this behavior in the general population, אידן אין גויים
      חסידים אין מתנגדים וכו’ וכו

    • Just by reading the manner of your POST, I see that you have a personal agenda and do not write the truth.
      I guess that some people are trash (not necessarily totally your fault) and that you should be dumped in the appropriate place unless you do Tshuvah (repent).

      Posts just like original journalism are intended for true facts or honest opinions. To hide behind a irrelevant statement like yours indicates you need a good Psychiatrist.

      • Total truth. No Agenda, Davened at a Belz family decades.
        The statement was not irrelevant, it demonstrated that Belz in particular does not teach their next generation to follow rules. I wonder if they were taught that one who eats in the shuk is similar to a …
        If you want to see this behavior visit KRM and watch the bochrim in the store and up the block.
        In short, my facts were true, my statement was very relevant and I take medical advise from licensed health practitioners, like me, not you.

  3. What shameful “reporting”.

    Wake up VIN News!!

    Whoever wrote this hateful article needs a simple reality check. The New York and New Jersey Jewish communities are on the exact same page as is the Belz community in Israel. Take a drive down Ave J in Flatbush, 13th Ave in Boro Park, Rt. 59 in monsey, or the Rt. 9 in Lakewood. Where are all the dead?!?

    This covid-19 being “MORTAL” is a hyped lie of the left. It’s no fun, and we’ve unfortunately seen older people, and those with pre-existing condition die. But same goes for the flu, it’s no fun, and we see many deaths every year (isn’t that a mortal illness?).

    I won’t even mention the thousands of BLM protesters, don’t think about the exalted hero cops, hugging sweaty screaming protesters one after the other.

    But make sure to find & lay blame with the ultra orthodox.



    • @ Biased
      I wish you had the facts and were right. I saw so many great people go. You ask where they are? They are in the cemetery. We all knew what was happening and lived through it. Where were you? Were you too busy doing chesed and shopping for older people? Maybe you were already shooting off your lies and false statements.

      • Yes, it’s more dangerous for older people or those who are immunocompromised, and the poster you’re replying to said so. The fact remains that the mortality rate from it is about 0.4%; the way people talk about it, you’d think it was 40%.

        • Stop parroting the ‘mortality rate’ line from the White House – this is a misleading number. Belgium has the highest ‘mortality rate’ with less than 10,000 deaths but the nature of the pandemic there was different.

          In the US. Nearly 145,000 dead. 145,000! Highest absolute deaths in the world and top 10 death rate in the world – approx. 43 per 100k as you say. More importantly:the % of those who perish after catching it is >3.5% – which makes this pretty deadly – far deadlier than a ‘flu’. These statistics show America to be like a thrid world country. This does not even take into account the long and short term health damage for many who catch it.

    • Agree. It was the same thing with the measles hoax last year. Have the measles related deaths stopped yet so we can get an accurate on the final death toll? There should be a lot of 1st yortzeit’s coming up now.

      • the Measles was not a hoax, and neither is COVID-19. There is ZEOR reason for the Measles deaths because we have a vaccine. The real hoax is the morons refusing vaccination for Measles.

        COVID-19, there is no vaccine yet, and so the right is correct to ask if the rate of mortality and morbidity justifies our response. He clearly thinks not. I mostly agree with him, but I have caveats. Nurisng homes should be quarantined and there needs to be a bunch of other precautions.

  4. The Rebbe will send his ben Yochi’s to Belz in deh Alleh Heim – by private jet – with ah groiseh convoy. Thell block all intersections and have a few fender benders on the way there and back.
    The Rebbe himself will to Kotel – oh I mean Kosel – and Alles vey zahn git beEzras HaShem Yisboorach.

  5. Statistically they are not worse off than other communities. The only proven effective way to battle this virus is with herd immunity. Kudos to Belz for not allowing the blind to lead the blind.

  6. Wow just wow you waited till this moment to find something to write against Belz .now you had your moment …even the niftar would laugh you off…

  7. As new Yorker and saw the virus in full affect, I know that it is real and deadly.

    That being said, the Belzer Rebbe is correct. The lockdowns are not a solution and nobody is claiming that it is. The only reason for lockdowns are, so the health care system should be able to cope with the volume of patients.

    The lockdowns are destroying new York and gave birth to violent riots.

    Unfortunately the virus will claim lives and as of now there’s no answer to it.

    • Well said the idea that lockdowns are the medicine for the virus is ridiculous. It’s not a viable long term medicine and can end up causing more problems. I have been saying that all along .

      However , certain basic precautions should be done . A social distant small tish. Wear masks etc . And yes if you are Ill get tested so you don’t infect others and don’t go out . Will it stop it ? No . But it’s at least a few common sense stuff that doesn’t impede our lives . These are small inconveniences

  8. Even if one non Belzer dies directly or indirectly from this virus meaning he lived less
    time due to some one with the virus giving it to him, he and all who encouraged him not to be careful are oosid litehn es hadin.
    Retzeecheh is the worst form of avaireh In HKBH eyes.

  9. “the virus will claim lives and as of now there’s no answer to it” Nonsense. Rav Chaim has said that giving to Kupat Hair will save you from Corona.

  10. I have never heard that killing people to create herd immunity is a halacha concept. I have heard though many different prohitions against causing harm to others.

    • I think all of humanity should be in lockdown forever. Between the measles, flu and corona, we could infect each other until the end of times. Businesses should close, grocery stores should close, schools should close, etc. The only time people can go out is for protesting the government and police and for Black Lives Matter. For these very important causes, the viruses cease to exist.

      So let’s all run to our homes and stay their forever.

      Or, we can work on building up our immune systems. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, eating raw garlic, excersizing and getting fresh air. This is our hishtadlus, we leave the rest up to Hashem.

      IMO, Hashem is sending us messages through this raging virus that the world has gone out of control with its immorality. The coronavirus is not letting up because people are not getting the message and continuing in their evil ways.

      The Belze can continue attending their tish. People should continue to live their lives. Those who are causing lives to be lost are those who are engaging in immorality and supporting it.

      • Thanks. I was wondering what message Hashem was sending us. Now I know. It’s the fault of those engaging in immorality and supporting it. If I follow, my response should be to endanger the lives of others since it’s not my fault. That is very helpful. My 42 year old neighbor passed away from Covid leaving 6 children and a widow. I will tell the orphans I now know why he passed away.

  11. The solution is masks. Period. They’ve been proven to stop infection from spreading. People have the right to go say kaddish without being exposed. People have the right to shop for food. Whoever doesn’t want to wear a mask should stay home!

    • No, it is not. Masks, in every study that involves use of masks in the public space, ***fails*** to prevent disease and cause increased risk of Asthma and other conditions. Who would have thought that covering your nose and mouth all the time could hurt you?

    • I also have a right. I hate a mask and my glasses get fogged. I have aright to the street just like the Kadish sayer and the Grocery shopper. Stay at home and have it delivered. Hire somebody to say Kaddish.

      Yes rights is the issue.

      Dogs have rights for the street not humans.

  12. There is no vaccine. There is no solution at this time. If you are vulnerable, you must self isolate and stay away from people.

    It may be difficult but right now there is no alternative. Try to get tested as many times as possible. The tests dont tell you if you are immune but at least at the time of the test you are covid free. You still have to be careful if you are vulnerable.

    If you do come across people who are selfish and do not care about the virus, stay way from them as much as possible. If that includes your family, tell them they are not welcome till such time they take this seriously.

    The idea of herd immunity has been disproven. It has not worked in places where its been tried.

    THis is a long term virus with no solution at this time. Only time will tell. In the interim we must be very careful.

    • There is an alternative. A lock down is NOT an alternative. It is punishment and deadly and evil. the alternative is to selectively quarantined, mask and take precautions when it is reasonable to do so, and live your life. It is not reasonable to close down society for a mild disease like COVID-19. This is not Polio or Typhoid, and Small Pox.

  13. Can you imagine how we have stooped so low…… We’re in the 3 weeks of mourning our Bais Hamikdash which was destroyed due to sinas chinam!!! Can we stop all this hatred??? Why are we talking with such hatred towards Belz? Let us all instead daven for the Geula and the rebuilding of our Bais Hamikdash!! THATS the ultimate solution!! Don’t you all agree?

  14. Wake up Vos Iz Neias!!! It’s Corona…..
    Why don’t you talk to our tens of thousands American Fathers and mothers that are sending there kids to Camp. School Yeshiva!!!! (The fake mask is “CHILD CARE” on all buses. This “Child Care” sign protects the children and teachers from Corona. As if the Governor said you can open schools as long we fool ourselves. ) against the rules of the NYS?. and it was going on when the Corona fire was still burning.
    The answer is the same as “”Black Lives Matter”” (only against Belz)

  15. The reality is people die from being hooked up to a ventilator, which is a very unnecessary and very risky procedure, not from coronavirus!!!

    Look it up!!!

  16. SHAME SHAME VOSIZNEIAS. A picture is worth a thousand words.

    The picture and caption displayed, reveals the mockery of this article.

    Does this picture of 5 decent chassidish looking boys represent demonstrators????

    Wow, wearing masks at a demostration. OH, these are the jewish murderers in our society.
    Worst of the Worst.
    Yeah, they were not social distancing. Go penalize them $5,000. Lock them up for 14 days. Disgrace all of Belz for their deeds.

    The caption reads
    “Ultra orthodox jewish men and youth seen during a protest against the closure on the Romema and Kiryat Belz neighborhoods in Jerusalem that is currently under a lock down in an attempt to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, on July 12, 2020. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90”

    Olivier Fitoussi, if you would be a Jewish Chosid, you would be proud of having such a boy instead of showing your total ignorance or hate.

    Vosizneias should apologize and retract this article and all the posts from very sick people.
    Time to stop “Jews for Jews ” publishing this type of trash.

    All of BELZ including the Belzer Rebbe, be proud of such students.

    אילן אילן במה אברכך

  17. The Belzer Rebbe can have a tish if he wants, but just have cardboard cutouts of his chasidim sitting or standing around the table . Hey it works for baseball and football .


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