TEL AVIV (Oct. 27)
A district court judge today opened a hearing into the request of the mother of the future Rabbi of Belz that she be given custody of the 12-year-old boy. He is being hidden by his present custodians in training for the leadership of the Chassidic sect.
Mrs. Motel Rokah, widow of the late brother of Rabbi Aharon Rokah, the Rabbi of Belz, told District Judge Benjamin Cohen that the two custodians of her son, Isaachar Ber Rohah, had taken the boy to a place to which she had no access, and that she was not permitted to see him. She asked the court to appoint her as custodian so she could educate him and have him with her.
The custodians claim that, while the mother is a religiously-observant woman, she could not give the boy the education he needed to be entrusted with the leadership of the large Belz community. They also reported they had no other candidate for the post, which has been vacant since Rabbi Rokah died three years ago.
The boy is held under strict observation of his teachers and is being prepared for the post when he becomes Bar Mitzvah, next year. The boy’s mother said that while it might be true that the Belzer Hassidim could not live without a rabbi, she could not live without her child.