Friday, September 23, 2005

Who will be Grand Rebbe's keeper?

Stand-ins for the Cain and Abel of the Satmar Hasidim
went to court yesterday to begin an unseemly tug-of-war for access to
their 92-year-old father, leader of the world's largest movement of
Hasidic Jews.
Children of Aron Teitelbaum, chief rabbi of Kiryas Joel's majority
congregation, are demanding the court appoint guardians for Moses
They say Aron's brother, Zalman Teitelbaum, and his allies have
sequestered the Satmar grand rebbe in his house in the Williamsburg
section of Brooklyn and prevented him from attending the weddings and
bar mitzvahs of his keeper's enemies.
"What they have there is their own little prison," Steven
Finkelstein, their Manhattan attorney, told state Supreme Court
Justice John Leventhal in Brooklyn yesterday.
But Zalman Teitelbaum, head rabbi in Williamsburg, and his faction
contend the Satmar leader is in good hands and accuse their rivals of
sacrificing a holy man's dignity to advance their own quest for power.
"This is an abuse by the petitioners," said Paul Bookson, a
Manhattan lawyer representing Moses Teitelbaum, the grand
rebbe. "It's an effort to use this court in their ongoing strategy of
"No one had the temerity to suggest a guardian should be appointed
for the pope," said Scott Mallon, yet another Manhattan lawyer,
arguing on the Zalman side.
About 30 men from Brooklyn and Kiryas Joel, clad in black Hasidic
garb, lined wooden benches in Leventhal's court to hear what is
perhaps the most lurid of three Satmar court fights being waged by
partisans of the two brothers, known as Zalis and Aronim.
"There is one commandment missing from Aron's Bible: 'Respect your
father,''' Jack Kahan, a Zali from Williamsburg, said outside court.
The children of Aron Teitelbaum who are requesting guardians for
the grand rebbe claim he suffers from severe dementia and has been in
decline since 1997 or earlier.
They also claim that Moses Friedman, the rebbe's longtime personal
secretary, and others are denying or sharply limiting access to him,
depriving "spiritual uplifting" to relatives and followers who want
to see him and be near him.
But the judge repeatedly scoffed at the suggestion that the case
had no political motivation and no connection to Aron and Zalman
fighting to succeed their father.
"If this is about politics," he said angrily, "then take all these
papers you spent thousands of hours on and throw them down the
He also pressed Finkelstein several times to explain what harm the
grand rebbe was suffering under his current minders.
"The grand rabbi has had his schedule greatly curtailed,"
Finkelstein said. "He's 92," the judge shot back. "My mother goes to
sleep at 8."
But Leventhal also suggested sending a court evaluator to spend a
day with the Satmar leader to see how he was being cared for. The
Zalman side resisted that notion.
After two hours, Leventhal set another court appearance for Nov. 3
to deliver his decision, one that he said neither side might like.


My heart breaks for the Rebbe.I am by no means a Satmar Chossid.My family came from Sighet .We have always been very close to this wonderful tzadik.How can his children do this to him?


Are the court documents available online anywhere?


come chat!


Judge paul bookson(The Rebbe's attorney) was killed Thurs afternoon by a motorcycle in front of the court. When did this hearing take place? Not on Friday..


This story is disgusting.

Words fail me


what a shame the Rebbe should be gezunt and lead us towards Moshiach, what the grandchildren are doing to him, it is the biggest chilul hashem... has the Rebbe not suffered enough in his life from when he was a young child up to this day? How can they do something like this to their grandfather? Mentshlichkeit is a thing of the past.... what is our young generation loooking up to?


chaptzem are you sleeping, wake up we need you


Let the fight continue! I teach english in Satmar and when we take a break and play a game that involves teams we call one team the "Zalis" and one the "Aaronies". What will we do if they make peace??


hey yolei "you live by the sword,you die by the sword"


i didnt see you guys crying 9 months ago when thsy took away The Rabbi from williamsburg a hour before his first great grand child's wedding where were you then how come your heart didnt brake then how come u didnt cry for this holy man who has people with heart's of nazis who can to do this to him ? only when the grand kids go to court to force those nazi's to stop then u start to cry ?????????


When the fuck is this guy going to die so we can get school off. Stop crying and just let the man go in peace. He'll end up in a better place than Brooklyn- I'll tell you that!


yeah it's all about $$$.

a big fight, again, on Simchas Torah!

No Olam Habah for these assholes.


yes i agree it's all about
"it's all about $$$."

airline tickets


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