Judge denies Orthodox Jewish group’s request for restraining order against New York’s Covid-19 restrictions

 Judge denies Orthodox Jewish group’s request for restraining order against New York’s Covid-19 restrictions

The court ruling came after a lawsuit filed by the group requested an injunction to stop the new restrictions and that the order “disproportionately impacts Orthodox Jewish services.”

The governor’s executive order limits gatherings in houses of worship up to 25% capacity or maximum of 10 people in “red zone” clusters, while those in the “orange zone” can operate up to 33% capacity with a maximum of 25 people. House of worship in a “yellow zone” may meanwhile operate up to 50%.

The court hearing took place ahead of three Jewish holidays this weekend, Hoshanah Rabbah, Shemini Atzeres, and Simchas Torah.

“This ruling is disappointing, to say the least,” said Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel. “Of course we understand the importance of taking precautionary measures against Covid-19, but there are ways to do so without totally disrupting our ability to use our shuls”

A spokesperson for Cuomo told CNN, “We will let the decision speak for itself.”

Members of the Orthodox Jewish community have protested new Covid-19 restrictions

Members of New York City’s Orthodox Jewish community have protested for multiple nights in a row this week in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn in response to strict new coronavirus-related restrictions.

Cuomo instituted these measures to try to stop hot spot clusters in Brooklyn, Queens, and several New York City suburbs from spreading further into New York.

But those restrictions were put in place just days before a major Jewish holiday and have exacerbated existing tensions between the insular Orthodox Jewish community and city leaders.

Many protesters this week were seen not wearing masks and most were not social distancing.

On Friday, Cuomo said such restrictions were not unprecedented.

“We have always attacked clusters. This cluster happens to be predominantly the ultra-Orthodox in Brooklyn and Queens,” Cuomo said. “This is not the first time the state has taken this action.”

Outspoken protester says he will be arrested for inciting a riot

Protester Harold “Heshy” Tischler says he will be arrested for inciting a riot stemming from his involvement with protests in some Orthodox Jewish communities of Brooklyn this week.

Two law enforcement sources told CNN that Tischler is expected to turn himself into authorities on Monday. The sources did not have information on what charges Tischler would be arrested on.

Members of Orthodox Jewish community protest for a second night in Brooklyn over new Covid-19 restrictions

Tischler is a candidate for New York City Council, a supporter of President Trump, and an outspoken critic of social distancing restrictions, according to posts on his Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Tischler tweeted a video that he would be “arrested Monday” or will be turning himself in for inciting a riot. “I’ll be taken in Monday morning, I’ll be going into prison.”

He said he would be pleading not guilty because “I did not commit this crime of violence, nobody was arrested that night.”

“I’m thinking maybe let them come get me,” he said.

CNN has been trying to reach Tischler since Tuesday, after a reporter for the Jewish Insider claimed on a verified Twitter account that during the protests, Tischler “recognized me and ordered the crowd to chase me down the street.”

Jacob Kornbluh says he was brutally assaulted by an angry crowd during a protest Wednesday night.

Kornbluh, who is the publication’s national politics reporter, tweeted that he was hit in the head and kicked by members of the crowd. In a tweet, he thanked “heroic police officers” who waded into the crowd and saved him.

Tischler called the journalist a “terrible, bad man,” and said Kornbluh had harassed him the night before.

Kornbluh told CNN Friday that Tischler’s account of the events are “inaccurate” and maintains that it will be confirmed once the investigation is complete.

“I have shared my communications with him with authorities and have faith in the process,” Kornbluh said.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that he spoke to Kornbluh and called him a “very respected reporter.”

“What happened to him was completely unacceptable. It was disgusting to watch it was troubling to watch. It was painful,” de Blasio said, adding that he checked in with NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and was told that an arrest was expected in the case “shortly.”

On Friday, the New York Jewish Agenda, an organization that, according to their website, works to advance social justice and combat anti-Semitism, joined a group of Orthodox rabbis and Kornbluh in urging people in Covid-19 hotspot areas across the city to comply with health measures, according to a press release from the organization.

“Asking all of us to wear masks, to observe social distancing and avoid large congregate gatherings is not an antisemitic act on the part of our city and country in the attempt to save lives,” said Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, a cofounder of NYJA.

CNN’s Julian Cummings, Brynn Gingras, Sheena Jones and Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this report.

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