Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Tuesday after apologizing for trying to burn Aron Rottenberg's family
out of the Hasidic Jewish village.
attack on Rottenberg and others for refusing to pray in the village
synagogue and other activities raised how the Hasidic Jewish theocracy
in New Square controls the lives of residents and deals, harshly at
times, with those who choose not to follow the grand rabbi's dictates.
Rottenberg, a plumber still recovering from body burns across his chest from May's
attack, has blamed the grand rebbe, David Twersky, for inciting the
violence against him, including Shaul Spitzer's arson attack to his
Truman Avenue house at 4 a.m. May 22.
On Tuesday, Rottenberg said he was satisfied with the state prison
sentence given to Spitzer and he plans on moving his family out of New
Square. The community agreed to buy his Truman Avenue house as part of a $2.3 million payout that ended a civil rights lawsuit against Spitzer
think that justice has been served," Rottenberg said outside the
courtroom at the Rockland County Courthouse in New City. "We're pleased. We hope to meet again under different circumstances."
Rottenberg, 44, who wears a glove on his injured right hand, had sat in the front
row of the packed courtroom with his wife and children.
They listened without emotion as Spitzer apologized for trying to set
Rottenberg's house on fire and then setting off an incendiary device
that set himself and Rottenberg on fire after Rottenberg wrestled with
More than 60
supporters of Spitzer, including his parents and family, attended and
some prayed for him as state Supreme Court Justice William A. Kelly
oversaw the sentencing.
Spitzer's explanation for trying to burn down the Rottenberg home was to try and
scare Rottenberg into moving from New Square. Rottenberg became a target of community protests and vandalism when he refused to pray in
Twersky's synagogue, becoming a symbol of defiance against Skver
Hasidim leadership, especially among younger residents chaffing under
the strict social rules.