Last week Orthodox Union leaders scrambled to make it known they had not endorsed Eric Schneiderman, the Democrat running for state attorney general, after a Schneiderman supporter's ad featured an OU press release about meeting the candidate.
Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that he and his father always had warm ties with the chasidic community and he hoped to “take it to another level” if he is elected next month.
“We have a special relationship that goes back many years,” the attorney general and son of three-term governor Mario Cuomo said during meetings with prominent chasidic leaders in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as seen on a YouTube video of the meetings.
Calm prevailed in Williamsburg this week as the shiva for Satmar Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum ended, and two of his sons continued their rivalry over the reins of the sprawling chasidic movement.
Both Aaron and Zalman Lieb Teitelbaum received visitors in Williamsburg, including numerous elected officials, after Aaron left his fiefdom in upstate Kiryas Joel and his followers declared that he was the new rebbe. Denied access to the main Satmar synagogue on Rodney Street, Aaron's faction set up a huge tent for thousands to join him for outdoor services.
As the world's largest chasidic sect mourns the death this week of the Satmar Grand Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum, the bitter, litigious (and sometimes violent) feud between two of his sons shows no sign of cooling.
In a flurry of courtroom motions, rabbinic rulings and shoving matches on Tuesday and Wednesday, the dispute rapidly shifted from designated succession toward a new struggle between two men, each claiming he is now the new rebbe.
Like the sukkah being dismantled on the sidewalk in front of his Williamsburg shul, the Satmar rebbeís family and empire are in ghoulish disarray.
Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum, 91, has been in and out of hospitals because of strokes and ailments.ìHe has good days and bad days,î a relative told a confidante, but the good days retreat faster than wintry daylight.
After a rabbinical career spanning quaint pre-war Hungarian mountain villages and a 21st century empire in New York with an estimated 50,000 chasidim and several hundred million dollars in assets, the Satmar Grand Rebbe, Moshe Teitelbaum, died this week in Mount Sinai Hospital after suffering from spinal cancer and other ailments. He was 91.
The Gemara says, half-comically, half-tragically, that in a second marriage there are always four people in the house. When the Satmar rebbe, Joel (Yoilish) Teitelbaum, sat down for dinner in Brooklyn in the early 1950s, there were six people at the table: The rebbe, his rebbetzin Feige, and also the spirits of the rebbe’s first wife and three daughters who all died natural deaths.
After years of legal and even physical wrangling by contentious chasidim, the New York Court of Appeals confirmed last week what individual Satmars already knew: it will be individual chasidim — not judges in Albany — who will decide, by voting with their feet, the rebbe to whom they will give allegiance.
The state’s highest court upheld lower court decisions, ruling that the direction that religious institutions choose to take is a religious choice beyond the realm of the state judiciary.