Thousands of Orthodox Israelis poured into Jerusalem’s streets to attend two separate funerals Sunday despite the country’s ban on large public gatherings, according to AP News.

The first funeral procession was for Rabbi Meshulam Dovid Soloveitchik, who died at the age of 99 after contracting COVID-19 three months ago.

Photographs from Soloveitchik’s funeral procession showed a large group of ultra-Orthodox Israelis’ winding down city streets without face masks nor properly social distancing.

Many of the Orthodox Jews in attendance defied the country’s third coronavirus lockdown. Local media reported police set up roadblocks and were able to turn away twenty tour buses heading to the ceremony.

… but still, thousands of Orthodox Jews flooded the streets of Jerusalem.

Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch tweeted that the gathering was “very bad in every way.” 

On Sunday evening, thousands of mourners attended a second funeral for rabbi, Yitzhok Scheiner, 98, who died from virus-related complications.

Alon Halfon, a Jerusalem police official, told Channel 13 TV that police were overwhelmed by the crowd size and that health violations were issued.

Orthodox Jews have been in strong opposition to face masks and pandemic restrictions. Many of them have refused to abide by the rules in Israel and also in New York City.

Israel’s Health Ministry recorded 640,000 infections and nearly 5,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic. The country has been averaging around 6,000 infections per day, one of the highest in the world.

Time will tell, it could take weeks for infections to flare up following the mass gathering events this weekend.

Republished from with permission

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