Hasidic Jews ignore social distancing rules during coronavirus lockdown as hundreds gather to mark festival despite previous Covid-19 rates being six times higher among Jewish people
- Crowd of around 300 were spotted marking Lag BaOmer in Stamford Hill
- Comes despite PM saying one person can only meet on other outside household
- Last month, police broke up a wedding of 40 Hasidic Jews in Golders Green
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Hasidic Jews ignored social distancing rules during the coronavirus lockdown as hundreds gathered to celebrate a sacred festival in their religious calendar.
Around 300 revellers were spotted gathering in Stamford Hill, north London, this evening, despite Government advice that only one person from each household can meet as Britain eases its restrictions.
The crowd danced as they gathered in an estate in the borough of Hackney, with one attendee sporting a gorilla mask.
Pictured: Hasidic Jews gather on an estate in Stamford Hill, north London, despite social distancing rules
The conservative religious community danced and lit a fire to mark the festival despite the Government guidelines
A man donned a gorilla mask as he jumped on top of another’s shoulders while they celebrated the festival
It comes after reports early last month that Jews had been hit six times harder than other Britons, accounting for 2.3 per cent of coronavirus deaths while comprising just 0.4 per cent of the population.
It is thought that this is partly due to the annul Purim festival which brought large numbers of Jews together in the final days before lockdown, when some were asymptomatic carriers of the disease.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews told those of the faith to do ‘everything you can to follow the Government’s guidelines and stay home unless you absolutely cannot’ back in March.
Pictures emerged this evening as the community marks the end of the Lag BaOmer festival, which began yesterday.
The celebration is the 33rd day of a mourning period known as the Counting of the Omer. The Counting of the Omer spans the 44 days between Passover and Shavuot.
There are different interpretations as to the significance and meaning of the Lag BaOmer celebration.
For some, it is a day of celebration that commemorates Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai revealing the deepest secrets of the Kabbalah.
Hasidic Jews are pictured enjoying the festival in Stamford Hill, north London, despite the lockdown
But other adherents believe that the festival is held on the anniversary of the ending of a plague that killed 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva’s disciples.
The images surfaced just weeks after 40 guests attended an extravagant Jewish wedding in the middle of lockdown and mocked police when they tried to intervene by offering them a beer.
Extraordinary footage shows the guests of Mimi Friedlander and Zevi Begal gathering in the garden of a large north London home.
They were treated to a luxurious meal laid out on long tables covered in white tablecloths, with orchids lavishly draped around the room.
Officers attended the scene before the celebrations, left, and were told that no more than 10 members of the same family, which lived at the house anyway, would be there. Police went back a few hours later and found the party in full swing, right
The top table at the wedding banquet alone had 20 seats positioned close together. Eleven were taken by members of the groom’s family, and nine by the family of the bride
About 40 people attended the wedding ceremony outside in the garden on Wednesday
The videos then captured the moment the police entered the premises to try and break up the party, only to be met by people offering them drinks and laughing.
Father-of-the-bride Moishe Friedlander was chairman of the Hackney Metropolitan police Independent Advisory Group for five years. Today he confirmed that the outcry over the wedding has forced him to resign.
‘It’s all over now,’ he told MailOnline. ‘I’ve stepped down as chairman. Let’s all move on with our lives