THE behaviour of a group of ultra-Orthodox individuals in Melbourne, conducting a minyan on the first day of Pesach (Thursday), has been slammed as “dangerous” and “stupid” by federal MP Josh Burns.
Despite social distancing rules, the group of at least 10 men were reportedly praying in an apartment above an IGA store in Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea, just after 11am on Thursday, April 9.
According to The Age, Victoria Police had already warned men meeting at the same venue on Wednesday, and issued several warnings to the organiser of the group to not hold gatherings.
The newspaper reported that police fined the group’s leader $1652 for failing to adhere to directives designed to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Authorities were working to identify other attendees before determining whether more fines would be issued.
Burns, who has previously slammed illegal minyanim as “deeply irresponsible”, told The AJN, “Looking at the devastation overseas, we’re reminded daily why slowing the spread of this virus is so important.
“Most people are doing the right thing, and I sincerely thank you for that.
“But this group of repeat offenders are acting dangerously and stupidly.
“The stupid behaviour by this small group risks the health and safety of our entire community, and it is extremely disappointing.”
In a seperate incident last month, footage emerged of members of a breakaway group from Melbourne’s Adass Israel attending a makeshift minyan.
Witnesses who captured the footage counted around 40 individuals who filed in and out of a premises on Glen Eira Road.
President of the Adass Israel Congregation Benjamin Koppel condemned the act, reiterating that Adass have “no affiliation whatsoever” with the group that broke away from them more than a year ago. He added that Adass leader Rabbi Shlomo Kohn was “appalled” by the gathering and had ensured the closure of the Adass Synagogue from Friday, March 20.
“He also expressly forbade any private prayer services to be conducted by members of the congregation.”
Federal MP Josh Burns has stressed that no minyan is more important than the health and safety of our community, after footage emerged last night of a group of ultra-Orthodox individuals in Melbourne attending a makeshift minyan.
פורסם על ידי The Australian Jewish News ב- יום רביעי, 25 במרץ 2020