Rabbi Addresses Concerns Over Virus Spread in Orthodox Communities

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Currents News Staff

There’s controversy in New York City over religion and the coronavirus pandemic. People want to be together for prayer during times of crisis. But in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, they can’t. 

Churches in the Diocese of Brooklyn and across the world are shut down to prevent the spread of the disease.

Many synagogues and other places of worship have done the same.

In Jerusalem, the ultra-Orthodox are ignoring the government restrictions to stop the spread and are still holding weddings and funerals with large crowds.

Meanwhile, in New York, City Hall is issuing a warning. Mayor Bill de Blasio is telling residents they can’t get together in-person for worship, and he’s threatening to permanently close any churches or synagogues that don’t follow that order.

What the mayor wants to accomplish is understandable, but is the warning troubling? Joining Currents News to discuss these restrictions is Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of the National Jewish Center Learning and Leadership.