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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

More on the Satmar Squabble

This week's Jewish Week has an article that fleshes out quite a bit of the Satmar dustup story from last week. The account is very detailed, adding a lot to what was missing in the accounts that were in all the local papers.

The part that was widely reported was the fact that the group of Satmar chasidim who are followers of Reb Aaron, the older son of the current Satmar Rebbe, (referred to as Aronis), stormed the Rodney Street synagogue of the group of Satmar chasidim who follow the younger son of the Satmar Rebbe, Reb Zalman, (referred to as Zalmis).

After a brawl took place in the synagogue, apparently another group of Aronis broke into and vandalized the synagogue office next door.
The group reportedly broke computers, jimmied open cabinets, destroyed disks and documents, and upturned drawers before relaxing on the floor with cigarettes and whiskey. It was Simchat Torah, after all, second only to Purim as the wildest drinking night of the Jewish year. The police arrested all of them.
People speaking in defense of the Aronis have differing accounts of what actually transpired in the office, some saying it was as innocent as learning Torah, others saying that it was only a small group of rebellious Aronis who admittedly did do the vandalizing.

What is news to me is this part of the account:
After the dancing with the Torahs on the night of Shmini Atzeret — chasidim dance with the Torahs on that night as well as on Simchat Torah — a chasid stood up to make the announcements. He told the crowd that Judge Stewart Goldwasser, hearing one of the three Satmar lawsuits, declared that the Aronis had control of the Rodney Street shul.

In fact, Goldwasser said, “This court will not be sucked into the Brooklyn litigation,” according to this chasid.

Perhaps the Aronis misunderstood. The chasid making the announcements said to great cheers, “Tomorrow morning we daven at Rodney.”

The Aronis showed up the next morning at the Rodney Street shul, where some 5,000 Zalis were davening in numerous minyanim.

To even the odds the Aronis, numbering less then 300, arrived with “their so-called security people,” said one community official.

“They were not chasidim,” the official said. “They were people of color, and in black leather jackets. It was clear who was hitting whom.”

The Aronis were ready to rumble. Clearly visible on a videotape from a security camera turned over to the Brooklyn District Attorney were black men in baseball hats fighting alongside the black fur-hatters.
The pictures show the security guards, but it never ocurred to me that they were brought in by the Aronis. If the Jewish Week's account is correct, then all the men in this picture that have been assumed by most to be policemen or security guards called in after the brawl began, were in fact hired guns, brought in to start this squabble.

These guys were hired to fight. On Shemini Atzeres. Hard to believe, if true.


Blogger Y.Y. said...

hey you nothing about satmer
everything you report as facts is totaly false
and i dont care which paper you quoted

7:20 PM  
Blogger Y.Y. said...

1)5000 ppl dont fit in rodney max 1500
2)aron had according to police 5000 - 7000 ppl in his tent
3)goldwasser denied zalies motions
4)rosenwasser said if berel friedman was never expelled from the community by the grand rabbi then he is still president.
i can go on and on

7:25 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

hey you nothing about satmer
everything you report as facts is totaly false
and i dont care which paper you quoted

I said vey little about Satmar in this post - though I happen to know much, much more about them than I put up here. If you have a different version of events, please, feel free to post it here.

8:37 PM  
Anonymous bishul akum said...

Very sad

a)It's a chilul hashem

b)Gary Rosenblat reported it

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:17 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Strange alliance. Anybody have any clue how that came about? How often do people agree to be hired thugs in a religious battle? Weird, to say the least.

Oh yes. And sickening.

10:27 PM  
Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Orthomom: Why do you think they were paid to show up? There are all sorts of weird alliances everywhere...

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sick stuff. Todays Forward points the point about the hired thugs out too.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous shlomo said...

Let me preface my remarks by saying that the behaviour of those louts on Shemini Atzeres was a Chilul Hashem and they deserve total condemnation for it.

However, on the other hand, the Satmar-bashers here should admit that this is simply bait for furthering their hatred of this huge community, and the disgracefull scenes have given them only simcha and pleasure.

Unfortunately, infighting amongst chassidic and charedi groups is so widespread that even those groups who are currently not involved in any machlokes - are presumed to be just biding their time...

Do I have to remind you all..??

Bobov, Lubavitch, Ponowitz, Belz-Machnovkeh,Chevron, Be'er Yaakov, Klausenburg, Viznitz etc etc. All of these [plus many others] are/were involved in battles or have recently ended them, or midst a ceasefire of sorts.

And nearly ever one indeed is over money and assets. [One didn't hear of any fights when the Skulener rebbe was niftar - he only left behind massive debts for his tsedaka work]

Their battles may have had less prominence in the local media, but that is just plain lucky - not because they fight in any more eidel manner than Satmar.

The fact is that 90-95% of Satmar chassidim are decent, erlich humandbeings who live proper Jewish lives and generally do MUCH more tzedoko vochesed than any other group.

Yes, there are troubles brewing in nearly ALL communities. But seeing that Satmar is far bigger than any of the others, the numbers of their troublemakers are also higher.

Remember 5% of 40,000 is 2000 while 5% of 3000 is only 150.

No person who has benefited from the kindness and goodness of Satmar will ever believe that the whole community is bad. It is only the enemies and haters who grab ever negative occurence to use as 'proof' that all 40 or 50 thousand Satmar chassidim are thugs. Yes, that is true even with 90 year old haters...

As I began, I totally and utterly condemn the bahaviour of the mechalelei Hashem and hope and pray that the erlich leadership will quickly sort out the differences and peace and harmony will again reign there.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not just rodney can not fit 5000 people he did not even have that number and most people that pray there are not his hasidim their hasidim of his father

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

zali is a loooooser

6:25 PM  
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