Chassidic Sects in Poland Quarrel over Burial Honor Within Rabbi’s Chapel

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Numerous followers of two Chassidic rabbis, descendants of the noted Chassidic Rebbe of Worka, Rebbe Mendel, who died sixty years ago, were involved in a serious quarrel leading to disturbances on the Jewish cemetery here. The fight arose over the question whether the honor of burial in the chapel erected over the grave of the Rebbe of Worka was to be accorded one of his grandsons, Levi Izchok. the twenty year old son of the Rebbe of Skierniewice.

The controversy arose when arrangements were made yesterday for the burial of Levi Izchok within the chapel. There is room in the chapel, which is held in reverence by many Chassidim, for two graves, beside that of Rebbe Mendel. One of the plots was accorded to the late Rebbe of Otwock, Rebbe Benjamin, also a grandson of the Rebbe of Worka. Rebbe Benjamin died fifteen years ago.

The Rebbe of Skierniewice demanded the second plot for his only son, Levi Izchok. Followers of the present Rebbe of Otwock contended that the plot cannot be accorded to Levi Izchok, because it is contrary to the custom for an unmarried man to be buried in the Rebbe’s chapel. They demanded that this plot be kept in reserve for the present Rebbe of Otwock.

The question was submitted to the Warsaw Rabbinate, which has jurisdiction over the cemetery. The Rabbinate ruled that the plot may be accorded to Levi Izchok.

Learning of this decision the followers of the Rebbe of Otwock occupied the chapel and prevented the burial by maintaining a continuous watch, throwing stones and pieces of wood at all who came near. After a long struggle, the zealots were removed from the chapel and the burial took place at midnight in the presence of 5,000 persons.

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