Thursday, April 27, 2006

Satmar Shabbos Showdown

Dailynews: The Satmar religious community was on the brink of civil war yesterday as two sons of the late Grand Rebbe Moses Teitelbaum staked claim to the spiritual leadership of the sect. The dispute was headed for a showdown at sundown tomorrow when followers of both brothers plan to flock to Brooklyn to celebrate the Sabbath in the streets of Williamsburg. Aron Teitelbaum, eldest son of the grand rebbe, claimed to have support of 75% of the 120,000 Satmar followers, including sect leaders from Israel, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. "A ceremony proclaiming Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum's appointment will be held in the coming weeks in Williamsburg, Brooklyn," said a statement from Aron Teitelbaum's congregation in Kiryas Joel, But on Tuesday, a rabbinical court deemed Zalmen the new grand rebbe in accordance with his father's will. Zalmen, appointed by his father to head the Williamsburg flock, accepted the mantle. With both brothers claiming to be the top rabbi, tension could reach a boiling point tomorrow when Satmar members begin to celebrate the Sabbath. The sides have battled physically before - most recently early Tuesday when fisticuffs erupted at the grand rebbe's funeral. Rabbi Moshe Indig, a Satmar community leader and follower of Aron Teitlebaum, said members of congregations from around the world are expected to "celebrate the first Shabbos with the new grand rebbe." Indig said a tent will be erected on Lee Ave. in Williamsburg for the celebration. He said the rabbinical court that selected Zalmen as grand rebbe is bogus, and the grand rebbe's will is "baloney." "We think it's false because there are other wills that he is suggesting to the board that we should accept his son Aron Tietlebaum," Indig said. But Zalmen Teitlebaum's spokesman, Bob Liff, said "the late grand rebbe could not have been clearer." "His intention was to have his son Zalmen as leader of the worldwide Satmar Hasidim," Liff said.....
xmlns:dc="" xmlns:trackback=""> -->

<< Home