Young Men Rioted in Satmar Kiryas Joel

Satmar Rebbe-KJ Aaron Teitelbaum


I have confirmed what was first reported by Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg on his blog and then by Shmarya Rosenberg on Failed Messiah. Last night there was rioting in the upstate New York State Satmar village of Kiryas Joel (KJ). The rioting included smashing windows of buildings and cars, and according to one account, setting fires.

According to Failed Messiah the trigger was the threatened dismissal of some 40 students. According to a flyer (pashkavil) posted in KJ it involved 150 students and blame was placed on the Rebbe’s gabbai (personal secretary), Chaim Shlomo Fisher and on Real Estate Developer and KJ bigwig, Yaacov Zusman Sofer.

Shmarya Rosenberg also claims that the Satmar Rebbe, Aaron Teitelbaum, was the target and has fled to London.The Rebbe was scheduled to travel to London after the Sukkot holidays. This was announced back in August. In fact he may have delayed the trip because of the riots.  According to a tweet by a Satmar regular (who also denies there was anything of significance happening,  JJ

@JJ_NT 6h @frumfollies happening he said he’s not going until everything is מסודר, yesterday everything was settled so he’s flying out tonight.

In fact, there was a Tweet that the Rebbe did fly out tonight(10/7/13) .

Satmar Live@SatmarLive 9:30:50 PM Rabbiny Shlita just Departed JFK Airport to London, Tnx Rabbi Eisdorfer for arranging VIP &Private Room for Mariv . Ki Maluchov..

Whatever the truth about the Rebbe’s travel plans, the social fabric will never be the same. In a robust pluralistic system, dissent and even riots can be followed by negotiation and adjustment. But these riots send a clear message that authoritarianism has failed. Even if every culpable kid and adult is kicked out of KJ, everyone will know that the king has no clothes (satin and fur notwithstanding); he simply does not command community-wide respect.

SATIRICAL THOUGHT: Time to publish a manual for rebbes on dealing with riots.

12 thoughts on “Young Men Rioted in Satmar Kiryas Joel

  1. Even if the culpable are kicked out they’ll still see that the rebbe has no clothes? How so? If they’re kicked out his control is reasserted.

    • There is a reason that meridah b’malchus (defiant disreprect to the kingship) is so severely sanctioned in both secular monarchies and in chasidish circles. The mere act of disrespect harms the aura of absolute monarchy. The episode will not be forgotten.

      In a very different context, if I recall correctly, Hannah Arendt dedicated her book, Eichman in Jerusalem to the proposition ‘Once an unthinkable crime has been committed, it becomes easier for it to be done again.’

      The crown will rest uneasy on his head. Sooner or later, he will either loosen his controls or another group of students, or some other group will rebel again.

      When you are demented and dented you are eventually supplented (sic).

      Aaron T may still control KJ, but his aura as absolute monarch has been dented.

      • I’m not so sure; with Satmar and thier analogs, its either “all or none”- at least that’s my experience. More importantly, how many kids were actually thrown out of the school, and WHY were they expelled?

        • I heard conflicting reports ranging from 42 to 150. Still trying to get more information. Since the official dismissal list is probably only in the hands of the powers-that-be, I doubt we will ever get exact numbers. But I will keep trying to a get a clearer picture.

  2. Gee- 42 to 150 is a pretty broad range of expellees. You’re right that the exact number will be hard to determine. I’m sure it’s gonna change as some of the kids will be back in school once the re-admission checks are written out. I really want to know what crimes they or their families committed that would get them thrown out in the first place.

    You could start a raffle or pool to guess the reasons for their expulsion- kind of similar to who’ll win the superbowl. Although it’s a safe bet that the reason will most likely have something to do with “tznius”.

    • For the competition, my entry: 42 boys banded together, committed
      mesirah (snitching) by reporting that they all were victimized, sodomized by a Kiryat Joel denizen. The alleged pedophile, none other than the “Upstate Satmar Rebbe”, who will be remembered for calling Weberman’s victim a slut, a zonah, the very day before Nehemiah got his 103 year sentence. And now, finally, perhaps he will get to share that cell with his soul mate.
      What’s the prize, Fred, for the best entry??

      • If your entry is based on emes- demonstrable emes- then the competition was over before it began, and you are the grand prize winner.

        Seriously, though- what caused the riot? Why were these boys expelled? Even if the causus belli is irrational (no surprises here…) there had to be some event that lit the fuse. Comments from the trenches, anyone?

  3. It was NOT first reported by Shmarya.

    Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg beat him to it by days.

    And it wouldn’t surprise me if the megalomaniac of anti-corruption who doesn’t like getting scooped knew he wasn’t first but still wanted to take all the credit. It’s like when he attacks JCW being that they are competing on exposing Shmarya’s favourite target, Chabad.

  4. Even before the riots the fact that 40 or more kids were kicked out of yeshivah at one time tells me that a palace coup of sorts was already underway. The rebbe wouldnt take such a drastic step unless he felt his authority was being threatened already and didnt want it to spread. That the evictees then rioted and smashed windows etc. is just an extension of whatever rebellion of thought which was ongoing.

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