DOUBLE STANDARD: Deblasio & NYPD Break Up Massive Funeral But Ignore Massive Airshow Crowds [VIDEO & PHOTOS]


As YWn reported earlier, the Tola’as Yaakov Rebbe, HaRav Chaim Mertz ZT”L was Niftar. He was 73, and passed away from COVID-19.

The Rebbe was a tremendous Tzadik, and one of the most Choshuva Admorim in New York. His Shul in on Bedford Avenue. He was the son of HaRav Yechezkel Shraga Mertz ZT”L.

A massive crowd of hundreds turned out for the Levaya.

Williamsburg Shomrim was seen on video before it started doing their best and prepared masks to be handed out to everyone. Unfortunately, the social distancing was not what it should have been.

In a tweet sent out by Mayor DeBlasio’s press Secretary Freddi Goldstein had photos of the massive crowd and said “I empathize with the desire to mourn those we’ve lost, but this is absolutely unacceptable. The Mayor is on the scene and the NYPD is breaking this up.”

The Mayor himself tweeted about this and said:

“Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonite: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic. When I heard, I went there myself to ensure the crowd was dispersed. And what I saw WILL NOT be tolerated so long as we are fighting the Coronavirus.”

“My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.

“We have lost so many these last two months + I understand the instinct to gather to mourn. But large gatherings will only lead to more deaths + more families in mourning. We will not allow this. I have instructed the NYPD to have one standard for this whole city: zero tolerance.

But where was the NYPD and Mayor Deblasio when tens of thousands of New Yorkers were packed into parks and other locations to watch the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels today?

The photos were also included in a tweet by NY Post reporter Reuven Blau, and quickly made their way across social media.

Meanwhile, community activists such as Chaskel Bennett took to social media and wrote “Before reporters & social media warriors decides to malign my ENTIRE community, recognize the fact that one of America’s most prestigious Rabbi’s had a memorial service tonight & all laws were followed. Any attempt to stereotype Orthodox Jews will be met with charges of bigotry. Harav Elya Brudny shlita (wearing gloves), eulogizing the loss of the Novominsker Rebbe Z’TL, one of America’s top Rabbinical figures to thousands online & on the telephone. This is the personification of responsible leadership at the very highest level. This is #WhoWeAre”


Another Twitter account “OJPAC” blasted the NYPD “The photos attached to this tweet is of today in NYC. Where was @NYPDnews? Oops. It’s not Hasidim so there is no media and no tweets from you either. BTW there is no distancing at Domino Park in Williamsburg but @NYPD90Pct breaks up even funerals of just 15 Hasidim in Willi.

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  1. IN FRUM JUDAISM THE WORD DOUBLE STANDARD DOES NOT APPLY! We are an AM KADOSH and held to a higher standard. It makes no difference what the rest of the world is doing.

  2. The Mayor probably learnt to keep a double standard from The Yeshiva World News which has been falsely portraying the frum community as being less compliant with Coronavirus restrictions pretty much all along.

  3. Sorry, but no. When frum Jews act like fools they deserve the telling off that anyone else gets for the same behavior. It’s time we stopped wagging our finger at the mean, bad goyim and took responsibility for our own actions. The Jews who stood shoulder to shoulder at that levaya are responsible for all the deaths that result from their behavior and we need to just call a spade a spade. We all see it in our communities – people who think this is about ‘rules’ and not about playing games with other peoples’ lives… then they cry and say tehillim when another talmid chacham is in the hospitl

  4. > rc

    One problem with starting up with such an argument (in a situation like this) is that it leads to arguments such as how protected we are by our mitzvos so these goyishe rules do not apply to us.

  5. Sorry I don’t think what he said was so wrong. At most he should have said “Wmsbg Jewish Community” not “Jewish Community”. As for the Blue Angels flyover, I wasn’t there but I surmise they only squeezed together just for the 1-2 minutes of each flyover. The levaya I’m sure lasted at least a half hour or longer. Infection likelyhood is greater the longer you’re next to & exposed to the adjacent person. That’s the big difference between momentarily passing through a crowd in the freezer section at your supermarket & spending an hour adjacent to others in a minyan.

  6. Another thing, “The Rebbe was a tremendous Tzadik, and one of the most Choshuva Admorim in New York”.

    It seems this term is being way overused lately.

  7. I fully endorse Moshe Lebovitz’s comment above. Frum Jews do NOT have the right to violate the law, especially when it exists for everyone’s protection. The US is a secular country and there is NO authority higher than the government. That’s democracy. Violators should be prepared to obey the law or accept the consequences, which in this case are spreading disease within and beyond the Frum community. I’m ‘just’ a secular Jew but I cannot believe that the Torah condones acts that spread disease to innocents, whether Jewish or goy. Violators endanger the sacred human rights of others, which cannot be tolerated in any civilized society.
    Meanwhile the Mayor was wrong to single out the ‘Jewish’ community, which shames a broader AND COMPLIANT, part of American society. He should have specifically called out your community. At the same time, he was tragically wrong to allow (and not even comment on) tHe health risks caused by people congregating to watch the air show. He should have condemned this in the strongest terms and taken action to disperse people.

  8. Something got cut off when typing out my last comment.

    Not chas v’sholom being derogatory about the Rebbe. Just that every niftar who’s a rebbe is suddenly being called,
    “of the most Choshuva Admorim”.
    He probably had a lot more people at his levaya than at his regular minyan.
    Anyways BDE sbd be a nechama, to his mishpacha & followers.

  9. georgeg – Dina D’malchusa Dina holds us accountable even to laws as simple as crossing the street. The high infection rates in our communities make that argument implausible.

  10. Whenever reading comments on situations like this, I always wonder what people think when they attack one another. There are a few things that are FACTS.
    1. What happened there was wrong, from a legal standpoint and from a Yiddishkeit standpoint, the Torah says V’nishmartem Meod L’nafshoseichem, it’s dangerous and it’s wrong.
    2. What the mayor did is equally or possibly even more wrong. When the world is in a state as such, with a epidemic going on and people looking to point blame on others, PLUS there being the recent uptick in Anti Semitic acts and comments about Jews. There is almost no doubt that the Mayors comments will lead to more hate.
    3. If it would have been the funeral of a African American or Muslim leader, I have no doubt that the caring and loving mayor would not have singled out the ethnicity of the group. As a social worker, I can tell you, Mr Mayor, that blaming a ethnic group for the actions of a sect, or a neighborhood of some, is called acting biased and racism (yes I know Jews aren’t a race, blah blah blah).
    4. The way for the Levaya to have been should have been modeled after the one that was made for the Novominsker Rebbe ZT”L. (Of course there was no coverage in the media of how the family made sure that a funeral that under normal circumstances would have had tens of thousands had a handful of family members., There was also no CARING statement put out by our COMPASSIONATE and LOVING mayor, for the loss of one of the greatest leaders of the Hewish world, which shows the real feelings that person has).

  11. When frum Jews act like fools they deserve the telling off that anyone else gets for the same behavior.

    The point is that nobody else gets that telling off. Everyone else behaves like this routinely, every day, with not a word from the mayor.

    The US is a secular country and there is NO authority higher than the government.

    Absolute heresy. The US may call itself whatever it likes, but for us Hashem is the highest authority, and no government has the right to set itself higher than Him. In this case His will was the same as the government’s, and so those who did the right thing by attending the funeral should have stood farther apart from each other, and those not wearing masks should have done so. But in any case where His will conflicts with that of the government we MUST obey Him and defy the government.

    it leads to arguments such as how protected we are by our mitzvos so these goyishe rules do not apply to us.

    And that is a valid argument. Mitzvos protect, and Torah both protects and rescues. We are REQUIRED to believe that in exactly the same way that we believe seat belts and vaccinations protect. But of course just as we may not rely on seat belts or vaccinations to behave recklessly, so may we not rely on Torah or mitzvos to behave recklessly. Every protective measure has a failure rate, and reckless behavior can overcome its effects and even make it worse. That’s why some people are against seat belts — they think that wearing them encourages reckless driving and therefore makes people less safe than if nobody wore them.

  12. Whining about a “double standard” is a shoddy, selfish deflection away from the failure of hundreds of selfish zealots to comply with protective public health laws that are in place for pikuach nefesh.

    Sure, it’s easier to point the finger in another direction than to take responsibility for moral and ethical lapses. But you’re fooling no one.