NYC Hits Satmar With $15,000 Fine For “Secret Wedding” Attended By Thousands

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The Satmar Shul that reportedly hosted a secret wedding with thousands of unmasked guests earlier this month is facing a hefty fine.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that Congregation Yetev Lev in Williamsburg has been fined a whopping $15,000.

“We know it was too big. I don’t have an exact figure, but whatever it was, it was too big. There appeared to be a real effort to conceal it, which is absolutely unacceptable,” de Blasio said Monday night on NY-1, adding, “That’s just not acceptable. I mean, we’ve been through so much. And in fact, the Williamsburg community in recent weeks responded very positively, did a lot more testing and was being very responsible. This was amazingly irresponsible, just unacceptable. So there’s going to be consequences right away for the people who let that happen.”

On Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the wedding “disrespectful of the people of New York.”

Last month, a wedding by the other Satmar Rebbe, HaRav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum was forced to just allow family members after posters announcing the wedding were leaked to the press causing a firestorm.

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39 COMMENTS

  1. I hope this means $15,000 per person who attended this wedding & endangered every other New Yorker’s life. ………. Just like during Transit strike almost 15 years ago, the union didn’t just get a general fine, but a fine for each member who struck.
    $15,000 for an organization as huge as Satmar is not even a drop in the bucket.

  2. 7,000 guests, $15,000 fine. That’s about $2.15 per guest. Not my idea of a stiff fine.

    How about adding $100 for each Covid infection spread as a result of the event? Plus a $1,000 for each newspaper and website that ran an article about those crazy Jews in Brooklyn who don’t understand the need for social distancing and masks.

    Let’s hear from the halacha mavens.

  3. $15k for a rebbishe wedding is simply a CODB (cost of doing business.) Plus they’ll challenge the fine before an ALJ and then an appeal, it’ll shlep out for a year or so until everyone forgot about it and the ALJ dismisses the fine on technicalities or reduces it to a nominal figure.

  4. It is easy to figure out if this is reasonable, or mere bigotry. If Covid19 is what they say it is, a large number of Satmar hasidim should be dead or dying. Has their been a massive die off of Satmar hasidim? If not, it proves that the New York government was motivated by anti-Semitism (or at least anti-religious bigotry), and not a genuine, fact-based, data-driven concern for public health.

  5. So this wedding that was kept out of people’s way is somehow “disrespectful”. But those crowds and masses, celebrating what they expect to be Biden’s win, that took over the public streets and in people’s faces, was actually lauded as democracy.

  6. $15,000 is a joke for them. They will have no problem paying that off with the snap of a finger. It was worth it for them, except for the chilul Hashem they made.

  7. $15K is just a slap on the wrist for the idiots who organized this chilul hashem. We don’t “wish” bad things to happen to those who act with arrogance and stupidity but notwithstanding claims to “herd immunity” by some Satmar, there will almost certainly be work for hatzlacha and the chevrah kadishas linked to this event.

  8. NO PROBLEM
    BLM WILL PAY THE FINE. THEY HAVE PLENTY MONEY.
    AND IF NOT BLM WILL GO AND STEAL THE MONEY
    GET ARRESTED ???
    AND…. dE BLASIO WILL SEND THEM FREE UNDER NY LAW
    GREAT DEMOCRATS!!!!

    good luck “”cumo”” aint gonna happen

  9. This caused a major chillul H’ worldwide, as it went viral in the news.
    It wasn’t just a slap in the face to the government, it was a slap in the face to every Jew, and gave us a bad name as sneaky and not adhering to basic lifesaving rules. The Goyim don’t differentiate between communities. We are all lumped together as either law abiding or rule breaking citizens.
    The fine for this should be to cover the cost of the healthcare of those languishing in NY hospitals with covid. Maybe that would drive home the point.

  10. Regarding the event being dangerous, it was not. The vast majority of Satmer people have immunity at this point. The lockdowns and mask do not prevent the spreading of the virus, period. The problem with this wedding is that in other parts of NY, the US and the world, the pandemic is raging. It is not a time a for grand celebrations. Even people who are against the wearing of masks, who are against lockdowns, etc. woould be against such a huge celebration as this massive display of celebration is showing calloussness at the situation the world is in. As the Satmer Rebbe keeps on saying that we are in gulas, how can they themselves ignore this message of callousness which bought about the negatave attention and needless anti-Semitism and the likelihood of the government doubling down on our community who are trying to go about their lives keeping the shuls and businesses open?

    To say that wedding is not worse than the protests in BP is absolutely ridiculous. People protested the outright anti-Semitism by the mayor and governor and the threat to schools, shuls and businesses, in other words, the necessities of living, while here it was a show extravangza and celebration, all of which is utter crassness in the global situation we are living at the moment.

  11. To akuperma: If you were paying attention, you would know that the die-off from this event is at least a month away. And why do you not consider that if there is no die-off from this event, it does mean that Hashem is protecting His/Her most pious chosen, but otherwise letting the disease run its course. Oh, ye, of little faith.

  12. what a chilul hashem.They think they can do what ever they want.Critiisimen every other jew
    but they religious and may do everyt thing.They even dont keep dineh malchutkah dine.
    Anti zionist against all the laws and making antisemitismen everywhere

  13. Satmare people I know said that they only allowed people with antibodies to come. I don’t know how they verified it or required people to bring along a printout of their test results but the pictures don’t show the full story. They did take precautions that aren’t obvious.

  14. A pattern shows sometimes what Hashem is perhaps “doing”. Here I am thinking of an acceleration process we could translate with these words: till you get it…it might take a little while further…but you also have the option to understand it now. Sooner the better. We’re not home here. It’s not our land. It’s not what Jews do in Galut. It’s not what we’re supposed to represent. Dina d’malkhuta dina is an Hallacha!. A few weeks ago another wedding took place secretly. The Chosson and the the Kallah and the ganze michpacha had Covid. Did they tell their guests? The Chosson was sick like a dog. But their “Rebbe” authorized it. How many got sick?! I did not even wanted to ask. When is is going to stop??? If Covid today, what’s gonna be tomorrow if we just don’t want to chap?! What is going on? Are we totally nuts? It’s beyond being upset. Shopping today, I saw 90% of people without a mask, and those who had one, it was under the nose, or below the beard. It’s mind boggling. If it would protect an iota another person next to you, would you just mind and give it a little chance for that person to be protected from you. Yes you! If you build a huge building, and say it’s Daat Torah to do so, did you at least look around to see if you are going to obstruct the backyard of someone, a neighbor who lived there for over 30 years? Did you wonder if the look of the building would just damage totally the skyline of the town? Did you think about the traffic, the sewer system, all the details that impact your neighbors? They’re also frum. They’re also Shomre Mitzvot. They care about you. They are mindful of other people. They let another car pass to avoid an accident, they want to go from point A to point B, but they also watch if it is ok to turn or back out of a driveway without causing a problem to another Jew. Can someone wake up? Is it possible to care for others??? Especially because we’re all kind. We’re all giving Tzedaka and willing to help another jew, rescue someone, do Bikur Cholim, do Chessed. But why is it, why? That you just cannot think straight with this Corona Nissayon of ours? Can you now pay attention???? Can you be mindful of your neighbor, your brethren’s welfare and wellbeing? And include everyone around you? Stop calling blacks schwartzes, walk in the street with your shirt and talit out like you feel home or your bed? Be mindful of being seen by the people outside. By representing me, another Jew, who want dignity and peace? We live in Galut. Also in Eretz Ysroel. We’re not home. It’s not our land here. Let’s behave once and for all.

  15. BS”D
    Dear Philosopher,
    Becky Akers is a writer at Lew Rockwell. She is against wearing masks, lockdowns, etc. She said does not like Orthodox Jews.
    To her the secret Satmar wedding, attended by thousands, was a great Kiddush HaShem.
    Read her article about the wedding, entitled Mazal Tov!

  16. akuperma: You not only have a lot of knowledge, as is evident by the many comments you add to articles and threads in the coffeeroom, but you also have a lot of seichel, which seems to be very lacking in the posts from the other commentators to this article.

    Cuomo can be blamed for anti-semitism, but what about the other commentators here? No, I am not accusing Cuomo of being motivated by antisemitism in this case, his $15,000 fine to Satmar may be just what he thinks is really necessary to make people adhere to the rules that he thinks are necessary to control the pandemic. Yes, I know he ignored other events like BLM and celebrating Biden victory, so that’s why I mention blaming anti-semitism, even though I don’t think that is the cause at all for the double standard.

    But you are Jews. The sinah displayed here is horrible. And that is a chillul Hashem!!

  17. philosopher: In Judaism, weddings are always a cause for celebration. Even in the event of a tragedy affecting the bride or groom c’v, the wedding is celebrated with music and joy.

  18. Actually, the worst part of this wedding is the fact that it was incredibly hypocrytical to denounce the protests in BP where those protestors who were having their businesses destroyed, schools closed and shuls closed and unfairly targeted by DeBlasio and Coumo, our fellow Jewish brothers, were not allowed to protest because “we are in golus” but flouting the law on such a grand scale for something which is absolutely not essential is ok?! A regular wedding would’ve hurt no one but certain people’s egos. I simply cannot get over this.

  19. All the people commenting about how great a Chilul Hashem this was might want to learn the halachos of Chilul Hashem first. This was, if anything, a Kiddush Hashem.

  20. I dont think it was either kiddush hashem or a chillul hashem. I do think, that after pulling off such a huge wedding under the noses of the city, either their incredible stupidity, or arrogance (stupidity caused by arrogance?) of the community made the decision to publish it in der blatt.

  21. flower: I am not decrying the fact that A Jewish wedding was celebrated. I am denouncing a wedding with 7,000 participants at this time AND the fact that while Jews in BP were trying to get their esssential needs addressed by protesting those in power who were denying them these basic rights they were condemned by the very same person who made this grand scale wedding against regulations. Didn’t he say that we are in golus and need to keep a low profile?! Instead of support for our brothers and sisters there was condemnation for daring to speak out while in golus while large scale weddings now are nothing but chutzpah against the governor and mayor which is “not acting like we should in golus…” While I have no problem with not acting with respect to these 2 chayos, you can’t condemn your brothers for their “chtuzpah” for protesting for their basic needs while you act with the same chutzpah for something that is not a necessity at all!

  22. Millions of Patriotic Americans are THRILLED to learn of this lawful first amendment protest on private property coupled with a religious ceremony. Massive Kiddush Hashem in their eyes. Especially if only young, healthy people with anti-bodies attended and there’s no covid outbreak. Cases would have started showing up within two days. Has it been two days? Have covid cases (and more important serious illness and death) started spiking? The city should pay Satmar $15,000 for this great real world experiment.

  23. INTERESTING! As a Hatzalah EMTP I had a transport this morning to NY Presbyterian Hospital! As we pulled up to the ER we noticed 4 Heimishe women SHLEPPING loaded shopping bags with food for the sick. You won’t believe what was printed on the bags “SATMAR” BIKUR CHOLIM. It didn’t say YWN or Hikind!!!!

  24. Everyone talking about this being a chillul Hashem clearly have no idea what the halachos of chillul Hashem are. Also, like others already said, I never heard the BLM activists being fined or even arrested. What about the thousands celebrating Biden’s “win”? This should be taken in court because it’s nothing but antisemitism.

  25. Did the Hillel Hashemites ever consider that keeping your Hatzalah radio on during Shimona esrey that not only can you not concentrate but all the ppl around you socially distant can’t concentrate either and this is on a Sunday morning where you are not needed on a call during those 80 seconds that it takes you to daven shmeno esrei may be a very big chilling hashem too.

  26. What a Kiddush Hashem no covid reported from any of the attendees. Check out on youtube Dr. Roger Hodkinson.
    The Chillul Hashem is Dov…. speech

  27. Most Chassidish Shuls in NYC davened on Rosh Hashana and YK with full packed crowds. When schools were supposed to be closed nearly every boys school or Yeshiva was left open. So what on earth is the Chillul Hashem??!! The only stupidity is the Blatt for publishing it.

  28. Performing an aveiroh in public is chilul Hashem.

    Posting comments that are loshon hora, among other isurim, in a public forum, is chilul Hashem.

    Providing a forum for others to publicly spout hatred and loshon hora is a chilul Hashem.

    Please don’t try to justify yourselves unless you have learned the halochos of loshon hora and the halochos of chilul Hashem.

    If it makes you feel better to call me names, please go ahead and do so..

  29. Perhaps the wedding itself was not a chillul Hashem, I take that back as despite the number, the wedding was very much private, as private as a 7,000 guest wedding can be… And I do very much believe that Satmer has herd immunity as there is in all frum communitites have now, and I very much believe that returning to normal living at this point will cause the virus recede faster and all that these “covid-19 restrictions” do at this point is PROLONG the spread of the virus.

    However, the fact that wedding was against government regulations and it was newsworthy is an act that would go against what the Satmer shittah is against OTHER Jews doing in golus despite these other Jews doing their “chutzpahdige acts” out of necessesity. And that is what Satmer should remember next time Jews do something that they rush to judge, whether it’s a protest, whether it’s Jews defending their lives, whether it’s Jews expanding their communitites on “disputed lands”etc. Satmer, which is a chassidus based on chesed, should open their eyes to the fact that other Jews have their own needs and will do everything in their power to live and survive, and Satmer should understand that their needs is not greater than the needs that other communities and factions of Jews have.

  30. Correction to my previous post; I never said the wedding was a chillul Hashem, I said it was crass to make such a lare wedding when people around the world are dying but I do take that back. People around the world are dying every day from various illnesses and viruses and coronavirus deaths at this point in time is being amplified non-stop by the media with many deaths not even being the primary cause of the person’s death only being recorded as such if the person had it at the time of their deaths. Since this virus may be around indefinitely, we cannot stop celebrations and normanl living indefinitely.

    However, the chillul Hashem aspect of it may be a subject of debate as dina d’malchusa dina. Only when these laws threatens our existence could then be disregarded and therefore since the wedding not taking place is not something would threaten people’s health ( and many feel it’s the opposite), it wouldn’t threaten anyone’s financial stability, it wouldn’t threaten their children’s chinuch etc. and so therefore the rules may not have been allowed to be broken and if there could have potentially been a chillul Hashem involved here. We tend to judge chillul Hashem from the reaction of non-Jews’ so in this case since the governor is hated by many non-Jews many tend to think it’s ok, but those who argue that it was a chillul HAshem have a valid reason to hold that opinion.

    As to arguing about this on a public forum, perhaps this should of been done more respectfully to Satmer and their Rebbe, and I want like to publicly apologize for my tone. But I do want to ask those who say that writing negatively on a public forum is a a chillul Hashem, did you also write against those who called the protests in BP a chillul Hasehm as they were 100% allowed to do so, to protest the for the right to daven in shul, for the right to educate their children and for the right to their livelihoods?

    My plea is for every Jew to be understanding of another Jew’s plight and not to discredit others when they try to uphold their basic rights in ways that is deemed 100% lawful despite King’s Coumo protestations.