The Hasidic synagogue barred from holding a public wedding in Brooklyn over fears it would attract 10,000 people says the “unwarranted attacks” forced it to scrap the planned celebration to avoid a “paparazzi” event.

The Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar was served an order Friday night from New York state barring Monday’s planned public wedding in Williamsburg of a grandson of its grand rabbi, Zalman Leib Teitelbaum.

But the synagogue hit out at the order, saying it had taken special steps to ensure the wedding complied with coronavirus guidelines but “nobody verified our plans before attacking us.”

An unorthodox Jewish wedding was forced into halt after fears of gathering around 10,000 people
An unorthodox Jewish wedding was forced into halt after fears of gathering around 10,000 people

“The unwarranted attacks on this event, originated by those besmirching the community, are detached from the facts,” the synagogue’s secretary, Chaim Jacobowitz, said in a statement.

Unlike the sea of worshippers and guests suggested by officials, only a “small circle of close family members” would have been attending the key sections of the wedding, and “the rest of the community would only be able to participate for a short period of time,” Jacobowitz insisted.

“The greeting cue would have been controlled in accordance with the social distancing regulations. The proper arrangements were in place to achieve that,” the statement added.

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Now, the publicity over the state’s order as well as expected mass turnout has forced the family to scrap the original plans.

“The publicity will turn this wedding to a paparazzi and will draw spectators that will make it impossible to control the crowds to comply with social distancing,” Jacobowitz said.

“It will also deter from the celebratory and spiritual atmosphere fit for such an affair.

Hence, we decided that the wedding will not be held as planned, and will only [be] attended by close family members.”

Teitelbaum leads the Satmar sect in Williamsburg while his brother, Aaron, who reportedly contracted COVID-19 in March, heads the Satmar in the Kiryas Joel enclave in Orange County.

Previous marriages of Zalman Teitelbaum’s kin have drawn hordes of attendees, whether in the streets of Brooklyn or in Israel.

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