Speaking at an event on Tuesday, The Satmar Rebbe of Kiryas Yoel, Hagaon HaRav Aaron Teitelbaum addressed the Borough Park community, condemning the recent protests against unfair restrictions imposed by New York authorities on religious institutions and predominantly Jewish-occupied areas across Brooklyn and Queens.
Leader of a major Hasidic sect, Teitelbaum denounced the recent demonstrations earlier this month, saying “We don’t make any protests in the streets. And you are not permitted to make protests in the streets. This doesn’t accomplish any good, and only does the opposite!”
The protests which took place over two nights opposed the restrictions that were imposed in response to the uptick of cases across nine zip codes in Brooklyn and Queens. Violence broke out at both protests, with masks being burned in the streets and an instance in which a garbage dump was set on fire. At one point in time during the protest, demonstrators, headed by local leader Heshy Tischler chased after and allegedly hit a journalist trying to cover the event. Arrested for the matter, Tischler was taken to prison in the days that followed.
During the event in Brooklyn, the Rabbi was heard saying that the Jewish diaspora living outside of their homeland must adhere to the values taught by the Torah, “Yidden are in Galus. We have to know we are in Galus. We must continue learning Torah, but not to make any protests in the street Chalila!”
He added to his sermon saying, “Praise unto the person who doesn’t follow in the ways of the evil.” The Rebbe stressed that Limud Hatorah must continue at all costs, and ended his speech by saying that it is his Tefillah and Bracha that the restrictions will be lifted very soon, and we will be able to go on with our lives.
As of now, several red zones across Brooklyn are seeing positive rates that need to be kept a tab on. It is advised to refrain from attending large gatherings and continue to wear masks when outside, in accordance with the rules laid down by the authorities, as well as for the community’s safety. Businesses and schools around the areas will continue to be closed until relaxations aren’t announced.