The senior rabbis of London’s Charedi community have condemned public gatherings as a profanation of God’s name following a Lag Ba’omer celebration which took place in Stamford Hill on Tuesdasy.
Photographs of dozens of men and boys who had gathered outside a housing complex, some dancing, were published by MailOnline.
Public gatherings were a “flagrant breach” of government guidance to combat the spread of coronavirus, the rabbinate of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations said in a statement issued on Friday in Hebrew and English.
“It puts lives at risk, causes a lamentable Chillul Hashem [profanation of the Divine Name} and does tremendous harm to Klal Yisroel [the Jewish people].”
Observing that Covid-19 had taken “a terrible toll” on the community, the rabbis warned that the threat of the virus was not over and the risk of further infections remained.
In their strongest statement since the lockdown, the UOHC rabbis said, “We are deeply concerned that after two months of lockdown, some have started to be lax in observing the guidance. It is absolutely incumbent on everyone to continue to follow the government rules.”
They called on the community to “follow the guidance, to protect lives and to be Mekadesh Shem Shamayim [sanctify the Name of Heaven].”
Mernbers of the community were urged to continue their prayers for this “collective tragedy to end”.
The statement was signed by the head of the Union Dayan Ephraim Padwa and the members of the presiding rabbinate.
UOHC officer Shlome Sinitsky said,"'Some of the scenes that we have seen were completely unacceptable and not authorised by any religious authority.
"We understand that these past weeks have been an extraordinarily difficult time for people, and that people are weary, but this simply should not have happened.
People's sacrifices have brought the virus under control, and we cannot risk losing that. The rabbonim urgently tell people to stick to the guidance."