A report over the weekend revealed that thousands of Hasidic Jews gathered for a secret, massive wedding in New York City earlier in this month.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo was none too happy about it when he found out, calling the gathering “a blatant disregard of the law” and demanding an investigation.
What secret wedding?
The New York Post published a report Saturday of a secretly organized wedding in Brooklyn that took place Nov. 8.
According to the Post, the wedding for a chief rabbi’s grandson was secretly organized and pulled off in spite of COVID directives from the state and the city prohibiting such gatherings during the pandemic.
Thousands of guests “crammed shoulder to shoulder” into the Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg, which has a capacity of 7,000 people, for the event, “stomping, dancing and singing at the top of their lungs without a mask in sight,” the Post said.
Video and photos of the nuptials obtained by the Post show the synagogue jam-packed to the rafters with thousands of men in the bleachers and women in the balcony.
The Post reported that organizers planned the wedding of the grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelman in secret to hide it from the media and the government.
“Due to the ongoing situation with government restrictions, preparations were made secretly and discreetly, so as not to draw attention from strangers,” the Satmar sect’s Yiddish newspaper Der Blatt reported, the Post said.
According to the paper, the organizers did their best to make all arrangements on the sly. All updates about the event were passed along by word of mouth and no notices were made in writing and no invitations were sent.
The secretly planned wedding came in the wake of the government’s cancellation last month of a massive planned wedding that was expected to draw 10,000 people.
How did Cuomo react?
Needless to say, Gov. Cuomo was displeased.
The governor has been issuing increased lockdowns across the state, with special attention on New York City — and especially the Big Apple’s Jewish community. So it’s no wonder he had something to say about the massive event.
“It was a blatant disregard of the law. It’s illegal. It was also disrespectful to the people of New York,” Cuomo said Sunday, the Post reported. “The law protects everybody. It protects you, but it also protects me.”
The governor demanded that the city conduct an investigation into the massive wedding.
He said he’s particularly interested in how such a large event could be kept secret.
“If 7,000 people went to a wedding, you can figure that out, right? That’s the problem with a ‘secret’ 7,000. It’s hard to keep a secret,” he said, adding, “It’s my information the city is investigating. They should investigate, and if 7,000 people were at a wedding, I’m sure they’ll be able to figure it out, and then we’ll bring the full consequences of legal action to bear.”
A spokeswoman for City Hall told the Post that the city is investigating the wedding and “will hold those accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”