The defiant chief rabbi of the Hasidic sect that held a massive secret wedding in Brooklyn told his followers days later, “We won’t surrender.”
Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, the spiritual leader of the Satmar sect in upstate Kiryas Joel, was just as stubborn about the community’s schools remaining open despite government orders to close as COVID-19 cases spike.
“We won’t surrender. We won’t close down. And indeed, we didn’t close down, neither the boys’ schools, nor the girls’ schools, nor the yeshivas. Neither the large ones nor the small ones. Everything proceeded as usual,” Teitelbaum said in a speech that was posted in Yiddish on flyers in Borough Park.
The sermon, a translation of which was provided to The Post, came in the week after the Nov. 8 wedding at a post-nuptials celebration, although Teitelbaum did not directly refer to the secret, potentially super-spreading ceremony.
The Hasidic sect remained defiant even after The Post exposed the lengths that the community went to conceal the Nov. 8 wedding of one of Teitelbaum’s grandsons, which was attended by thousands of maskless men crammed into Congregation Yetev Lev synagogue in Williamsburg.
Authorities again sought to stop a large wedding Monday in Kiryas Joel for another of Aaron Teitelbaum’s grandchildren. The nuptials went ahead despite a cease-and-desist order.
Hundreds of revelers, including Teitelbaum, attended a post-wedding celebration Tuesday in Brooklyn. Photos showed many maskless men gathered together just inside a synagogue. Teitelbaum and his entourage, none of whom wore masks, were seen in a video arriving at the event.
Teitelbaum carried out that celebration a day after Mayor de Blasio announced the city would slap the Yetev Lev synagogue with a $15,000 fine for the Nov. 8 wedding, which The Post exposed last Saturday with video of the event.
“If there were further inappropriate activity, that is the precursor to the building being shut down permanently,” de Blasio warned Tuesday. Hizzoner noted “it’s a big city” when asked why officials failed to get wind of the event.
City Hall has since refused to answer any questions about its one-day “investigation” into the wedding, including whether any coronavirus cases have been traced to it, or even which agency looked into it.
The mayor’s reps also wouldn’t say whether Pinny Ringel, the mayor’s senior liaison to the Jewish community, had any inkling about the illegal celebration.
“He’s the liaison to the Jewish community. If he didn’t know about it, he’s not doing his job,” a source in the de Blasio Administration said of the Hasidic aide.
The source said the administration has handled the Orthodox Jewish community “with kid gloves.”
Ringel did not return requests for comment.
Two high-ranking aides to Gov. Cuomo were flagged in a tweet about the wedding three days after it happened, but took no action.
The tweet shows a Yiddish magazine cover photo of Aaron Teitelbaum, dressed