New York issues $15,000 fines to Orthodox Jewish institutions over COVID violations

Five Orthodox Jewish institutions in New York City were fined $15,000 for alleged violations of the health code amid the coronavirus pandemic for having more than 10 people inside their religious facilities, according to reports.

The religious spaces in Borough Park, the site of protests last week, weren’t shut down because police don’t have the authority.

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New restrictions temporarily limit the size of religious gatherings in the COVID-19 hot spots. The restrictions limit attendance at all houses of worship to 25% capacity, or a maximum of 10 people.

Six coronavirus clusters have cropped up in Brooklyn and Queens, as well as Broome, Orange and Rockland counties. The state has closed schools and nonessential businesses in those areas and limited gatherings.

The number of New Yorkers hospitalized with the coronavirus continues to rise, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday, as authorities heightened their focus on banning

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From early astronomy to Star Trek, Baltimore museum explores the celestial fascination of Jewish scholars, artists

During the early years of the first “Star Trek” TV series, when a producer asked actor Leonard Nimoy to develop a sign of greeting for his character Spock to use, Nimoy flashed on a childhood memory.

What popped into his mind was a synagogue service in which several rabbis raised their hands, split their pinkie and ring fingers from their middle and index fingers to form a wide V, and started chanting in Hebrew.

And that’s how the Birkat Kohanim — a sign of Jewish blessing that dates to the time of Moses — inspired the “Vulcan salute,” the hand sign that became Spock’s signature and an icon of Western pop culture.

The story, first shared by Nimoy in his 1975 autobiography, “I Am Not Spock,” isn’t the only example of Judaism intersecting the universes of space study and science fiction. It’s a connection as old as the Torah, and

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