It’s never a good sign when “Jews” become a trending topic, or when Bill de Blasio does something that commands national attention. When one leads to the other, it’s a bad sign indeed.
That’s what happened hours after Donald Trump sent military planes flying low over the city’s skyline on Tuesday as a tribute to first responders and dozens of New Yorkers were seen predictably clustering in parks and on piers to watch that display.
That evening, about 2,500 Hasidic Jews thronged the streets of Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, to mourn the death of 73-year-old Rabbi Chaim Mertz, who succumbed to the coronavirus. The funeral had been coordinated with the NYPD, which barricaded streets for what was supposed to have been a socially distant funeral but one where, predictably, mostly masked mourners packed the streets with little space between them. (Met Council CEO and former City Councilman David Greenfield has a useful summary of what happened here, as “a case study: ‘whatever can go wrong, will go wrong’ - pandemic version.”)