Hassidic Rebbe Reverses Decision to Leave Israel; Cancels Trip

Rabbi Yekutiel Halberstam, the Rebbe of Klausenberg, who announced yesterday that he planned to leave Israel permanently because of continued strife over Sabbath violations in Jerusalem, reversed himself today and will remain in Israel.

The Hassidic leader, who settled in Israel four years ago with a group of his followers, changed his mind about returning to the United States after considerable pressure was exerted on him by Israeli rabbinical leaders, Ministers, Jewish Agency executive chairman Moshe Sharett, and Nathanya’s Mayor Oved Benami, who sent an urgent letter to the Rebbe. The sect made its home in Kiryat Tzanz near Nathanya.

Rabbi Halberstam canceled a reservation on a flight to New York for Wednesday morning. As soon as his decision was made known yesterday, urgent telegrams asking him to change his mind were sent by Zorach Warhaftig, the Minister for Religious Affairs, Interior Minister and Religious Party leader Moshe Shapiro and Sharett. The three Israeli leaders suggested some solution might be reached in the Sabbath problem which the Rebbe told his flock was costing him his health.

NEXT STORY