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Tuesday, March 17, 2020 

Wedding organizer in Haredi community of Beit Shemesh arrested for violating public gathering procedures during Corona crisis

At a time when limits have been imposed on public gatherings of over 10 in order to combat the Coronavirus outbreak, another Haredi fanatic from Jerusalem working in Beit Shemesh broke the rules epic size, and was arrested for it:
A man in his 40's from Jerusalem was arrested on Tuesday night for allegedly organizing a multi-part wedding in Bet Shemesh which housed approximately 150 guests, which far outreaches the Health Ministry's limitations in their new guidelines.

A new video that began circulating on the web, first shown on Channel 12, shows the haredi wedding with far more than 10 attendees. As a result, the police opened an investigation into the incident.

"Published tonight is a documentation of an event that occurred in Bet Shemesh," a Channel 12 reporter wrote on Twitter, explaining that it is the wedding of two rebbes and slamming the gathering.

"This is no longer negligence or lack of awareness, but disrespect of precautions. The first people to be hurt will be the celebrators themselves, and then afterwards, all of us," he continued.

The wedding, which took place Tuesday night, was held between two families of "rebbes" - important rabbis in the Jewish Haredi world. Although an event of this kind usually holds up to 1000 people, approximately 150 guests were present.

When addressed on the matter, the organizers claimed that they were following the restrictions. However, the footage shows otherwise.

The Haredi Council of Torah Sages of Agudat Israel, rebbes, rabbis and yeshiva leaders throughout the country called on their communities to follow the Health Ministry guidelines, which belong to the realm of "pikuach nefesh," a principle in Jewish law stating that the preservation of human life overrides any other religious rule.

Several people within Haredi society who were concerned about the coronavirus filed a police report. They requested that something be done to raise awareness about the situation within the Haredi communities, as they are not as well connected to general means of communication as the rest of Israel is.

The police called the public to adhere to instructions and guidelines given by the Health Ministry as a part of the efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Israel.
What sources like these do can make it take longer to solve the whole problem. And it also stems from lack of proper access to general information that can help to understand the seriousness of the issues, because many of these Haredis don't have internet, and their printed news outlets are not all the most reliable. It's no wonder they either end up expressing petty defiance, or, they're just plain ignorant.

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