Charedi leaders: Purim celebrations must be confined to close family members
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Charedi leaders: Purim celebrations must be confined to close family members

Senior strictly-Orthodox figures write to community members urging them to avoid taking to the streets for festivities

Orthodox Jewish children dressed as clowns celebrate the festival of Purim in Stamford Hill in north London.
Orthodox Jewish children dressed as clowns celebrate the festival of Purim in Stamford Hill in north London.

Charedi leaders have told community members to avoid taking to the streets during this year’s Purim festival, in written guidance issued by senior rabbis.

Vans carrying yeshiva boys through north London streets are a familiar sight at this time of year, but the directive issued through the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations this week says 2021 will be different.

The rabbis also state that the tradition of youngsters visiting the houses of rabbis and teachers with gifts should take a back seat owing to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

A year ago, Purim celebrations were held before ministers announced lockdown measures. The social mixing led to a huge spike in Covid-19 infections throughout the Jewish community, leading to dozens of deaths.

“Last year’s large events took place before anyone was aware of how the virus would spread,” the rabbis said, adding that celebrations should be “confined to close family members only”.

Letter sent by Orthodox leaders

 

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