Children of the chief rabbi of Kiryas Yoel’s majority congregation, went to court yesterday to begin an unseemly tug-of-war for access and control on their 92-year-old father, leader of the world’s largest movement of Chasidic Jews because they claim he isn’t in good hands.
But the head rabbi in Williamsburg, and his faction contend the Satmar leader is in good hands and accuse their rivals of sacrificing a holy man’s dignity to advance their own quest for power.
The judge repeatedly scoffed at the suggestion that the case had no political motivation and no connection to the fighting to succeed the grand rabbi. “If this is about politics,” he said angrily, “then take all these papers you spent thousands of hours on and throw them down the toilet.”
After two hours, the judge set another court appearance for Nov. 3 to deliver his decision, one that he said neither side might like.