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Lakewood Rabbi Arrested For Violating COVID-19 Order Promises To Do It Again, Report Says

FAA captures Lakewood arrest of Rabbi Yisrael Knopfler
FAA captures Lakewood arrest of Rabbi Yisrael Knopfler Video Credit: FAA Lakewood

A Lakewood rabbi accused of violating Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order banning gatherings during the COVID-19 outbreak was recently arrested for holding a religious service in his own backyard.

Rabbi Yisrael A. Knopfler "absolutely" plans on doing it again, he told NJ.com.

Monday's arrest, captured on this FAA Facebook video, came after Lakewood police broke up an event that Knopfler organized on Lag B’Omer, a minor holiday commemorating the end of a historic plague. 

Public celebrations, which include bonfires, concerts, graduations and weddings, are prohibited because of coronavirus. In the video, some guests appear to be wearing protective masks.

Knopfler joined NJ Catholic Priest Kevin Robinson in suing Murphy and State Police Superintendent Pat Callahan alleging that the state’s prohibition of religious services during COVID-19 violates the U.S. Constitution 1st and 14th amendments.

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