Belz Hasidim: Want To Sit Next To Rebbe? Pay NIS 1,000

The Belz Hasidic movement celebrated the marriage of its rebbe’s grandson in a series of major events last week. Guests wishing to watch the senior ultra-Orthodox leadership sitting around the table of honor alongside the 18-year-old groom were asked to bid farewell to at least NIS 1,000 (about $260).

Belz sources explained that the money was used as a donation to fund the different events and cover the costs of the wedding, which were estimated at millions of shekels.

Members of the Hasidic movement, which has become famous for the mass events it holds for its leader’s family, turned the Belz neighborhood in Jerusalem into closed compounds for the movement’s women, married yeshiva students and younger members.

A huge tent was built in the Hasidic movement’s institutions complex, and the roads leading to the neighborhood were closed to traffic from the early afternoon hours to the small hours of the night.

In the evening, the married Hasidim left the tent in order to watch the “mitzvah tantz,” in which the bride dances while holding one end of a long gartel while the rebbe holds the other end.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telephoned the Belz movement’s representative in the Knesset, MK Israel Eichler (United Torah Judaism) and asked him to pass on his congratulations to the groom’s family.

Meanwhile, a dramatic reconciliation took place between the Hasidic movement’s leader and his cousin, the Machnovka rebbe, who he had not met with for nearly 30 years due to an inheritance battle and a control battle over the “Belz” brand. Violent conflicts have been recorded between the two movements, which separated families from the different camps.

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