Yehuda Meshi Zahav, chairman of the ZAKA organization, lost his brother and mother to COVID-19, and is fed up with the views of part of the haredi public on the matter. "This is a failure of our most respected luminaries,” he said in an interview with Ynet. “It grieves me to say this but some of them are worse than those who deny the Holocaust - after all, Holocaust deniers reject history, while these individuals are rejecting the present. I was in a hospital recently - there was so much crying, so much screaming, so much pain.”
“What happened to our great leaders?” Yehuda continued. “How can they call themselves blameless? There are ‘rabbis’ among us who are, in all likelihood, guilty of more than one death.”
“There was no house where there was no dead body”, he said, quoting the book of Exodus. “Nor any apartment building, nor even any neighborhood. One can walk through Haredi neighborhoods and see digital billboards adding new names of the deceased every few hours.
"44 people have died in the last day. That’s 44 families whose world have been destroyed, 44 families for whom nothing will ever be the same again - and still we ignore the guidelines. How do they not see this? Every one of these ‘leaders’ is a ticking time bomb. I believe that instead of the traditional ‘May the Lord console the family’ in obituary notices, we should start writing ‘May the Lord avenge their death.’ Being in the ward for COVID-19 patients, hearing them call for water, for nurses, for help to the restroom - it’s heartbreaking, and the staff can’t possibly help them all. I watched ambulances taking away body after body.
“It is a disgrace for our leaders that the public should so thoroughly scorn the guidelines. These are the people who are spreading infection in our community. Their example is a time bomb, a rocket aimed at our neighborhoods to cause death and destruction.
Yehuda is both angry and confused with the public as a whole. He is particularly angry at the haredi public. “What is happening in the public is unbelievable. Do people not remember the commandment to care for your own life? We know to go to the very best of doctors and professors for all kinds of problems - what’s different about this?”