Brooklyn: “At funerals, people no longer shoveling dirt on their loved one’s casket—no one, including the gravediggers, were allowed to touch the shovels”

TABLET MAG
America’s Largest Population of Holocaust Survivors Is Endangered by the Coronavirus as Crown Heights and Borough Park Shut Down
by Armin Rosen
March 24, 2020

Closing a synagogue is no small matter—even in the darkest moments of World War II it was sometimes still possible to find a minyan. Dovid said that locals got over their resistance as soon as they began receiving WhatsApp messages asking them to recite tehilim for COVID-19 patients they personally knew. “This got real very quickly,” he said. “There’s nobody serious saying no, we need to keep the shuls open.” If anything, Chabad Hasidim were looking for precedents that would justify such an extreme step. On WhatsApp, some were recalling Menachem Mendel of Horodok, who recorded the closure of shuls during a plague in Tiberias in the 1700s. READ MORE

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