Tuesday, April 25, 2006

It's Zalman!

Arutz Sheva is reporting that the deceased Satmar Rebbe's will, read aloud at his funeral(!), has designated the third son, Zalman, as the successor.

Meanwhile, Aaron, the first son, isn't going quietly into that good night. In a statement, he said: “The Grand Rebbe's will does not determine succession. Only the Satmar Board of Directors can make that decision. That's how the Grand Rebbe himself was selected. And that's how his successor will be selected.”

The second son, Fredo, was in Las Vegas, managing the family casino business and could not be reached for comment.

At stake in this family dispute are real estate holdings valued at $500 million dollars, a school system that would be the fourth largest in the state if it were a public school system, and the famous matzo factories, where (per Amshinover in a famous, but hard to find, DovBear comment) the matzohs baked by non-Jews are put aside for non-Satmar consumption. Oh, and the winner also gets the mindless and devoted respect and adoration of over 100,000 hasidim, among other valuable prizes.

The Rebbe was buried overnight in Kiryas Joel, and I willl say this: I am surprised and pleased to learn that the Aaronis kept quiet when the will was read, and I'm also glad to see there was no brawling as the Rebbe was laid to rest. I was sure the rival factions were going to go after each other with chains and pick-axes. But they didn't, and the fact that the funeral was late at night may have had something to do with it (hashcocha protis, anyone?)

Funeral Photos:
Jesse Chan Norris
Gothamist (article)

UPDATE The Times Herald reports that "A brief scuffle broke out around 5 a.m. inside the synagogue. Kiryas Joel security and troopers quickly quelled the fight, which apparently started over a dispute about who could speak at the services." Apparently, that was the worst of it. I'm still surprised.

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