In dealing with Daniel Andrews you have to begin with an understanding that he hates normal people going on about their own lives in their own way. If he can bring unhappiness to others, he is front and centre. So we have this: Rabbis’ request denied. And what request was that?
HEALTH authorities have refused a request from Melbourne’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community to celebrate their holiest day of the year in person.
Let’s see if we can find some additional detail.
Nine Melbourne rabbis and seven medical providers called on Daniel Andrews to allow them to observe Yom Kippur with small gatherings.
Yom Kippur – which begins at sunset on Wednesday – is described as the “holiest day on the Jewish calendar”.
The community leaders – which represent up to 1500 families who observe the Torah – on Monday called to be allowed to run services at synagogues, subject to density quotients and with groups limited to 10 men plus those running the service.
They said gathering would be held outdoors where possible, with pre-registration, Covid-marshals, masks and social distancing all in place.
The leaders even said the services could be limited to inner-east postcodes – including 3162 covering Caulfield, 3183 (Balaclava) and 3185 (Elsternwick and Ripponlea) – with low case numbers.
But the Health Department said chief health officer Brett Sutton could only provide exemptions to the limits on public or private gatherings if they related to end-of-life events.
And a bit more.
In a letter to Mr Andrews, the group argued Jewish people were more “constrained, limited and disconnected” than any other religious group.
“Unlike other denominations and religious groups, we do not have the option of electronic broadcast or the use of any other technology on our Sabbath and Jewish festival days, due to the restrictions of Jewish Laws on these days,” the letter read.
“Needless to mention that this is having a detrimental spill-over effect in many ways on our members and their respective families.
“Our members, in regular times, attend synagogue thrice daily.
“It is, so to speak, our second home.”
The group said Yom Kippur was also the one day that almost every Orthodox Jew would attend synagogue.
“Our members could not fathom the idea of not praying together on this day,” the letter continued.
“It would be fair to state that religious services in a place of worship, on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, are more essential than a Thai boxing event.”
Andres, of course, ducked out of personal responsibility, but you may be sure he was the one who made the decision.