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Hassidic Rebbe Leaves Israel ‘permanently’ Because of Sabbath Clashes

Rabbi Yekutiel Halberstam, the Rebbe of Klausenberg, who settled in Israel four years ago with a group of his followers, announced today that he was leaving Israel “permanently” to return to the United States because of the continuing strife over Sabbath violations in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Halberstam, who made known his decision before a stunned crowd of Hassidim in their religious quarter in Kiryat Tzanz near here, said that the news of what was going on in Jerusalem each Sabbath was undermining his health. The Rebbe, one of the few Hassidic leaders to survive the Nazi persecution promised to give full details of his decision to return to the United States tomorrow evening in the synagogue of the quarter. His announcement, made from the balcony of his home, was received in silence except for the sound of women crying.