2005_10_hasidim.jpgApparently the Satmar Jews in Williamsburg went a little wild last night. According to Newsday:

At least one person was injured in a faceoff between hundreds of members of two opposing factions at Congregation Yetev Lev D'Satmar... Police estimated the crowd ranged anywhere from 500 to more than 1,000. Police eventually restored order, and many of the members of the faction from upstate New York retreated to a nearby tent where they have been praying.

Of course, the NY Post has a more colorful retelling of the story, under our favorite headline of the week- " MAZEL TOUGHS":

Yesterday's melee, which included punches, slaps and beard-pulling, broke out between clashing factions of the Satmar Hasidic sect in Williamsburg and ended with cops in helmets closing down streets to restore order on a Jewish holiday, Shmini Atzeret. "There was chaos," said worshipper Joel Klein, 29, who said he was pulled from the Yetev Lev Bikur Cholim synagogue on Rodney Street by cops. "It was like a war zone."

The dispute between the upstate and Williamsburg Satmars dates back a few years. Moses Teitelbaum (the head of the sect) had appointed his younger son Zalman to take over in Williamsburg, and his older son Aaron to take over upstate in Orange County-- they immediately started fighting with each other, and now the Satmars are in full schism. The fight last night started when the Orange County Satmars tried to enter the temple in Williamsburg, and got forceably repelled by the Brooklyn blackhats.

Man-- if people who have as much in common as the Satmar Jews can't get along, is there any hope for the rest of us? To restore peace, we recommend the fighting Teitelbaums meditate on the words of another famous Jew-- the reggae rapper Matisyahu from Crown Heights:

Hashem rules the world and Israel is his wife
Love you yes my G-d with all my heart my soul and my might
When I feel you by my side yes I'm flying like a kite
You open up my eyes and give me sight
Super energized and everyday I feel you give me life
I seen the ways of the world intoxifying on pride
Young man don't you know drugs impurify your mind
When Israel left mitzrayim four fifths got left behind
If you got no water how you gonna survive
Roots lead you to the well springs so you could stay alive
Pharaoh claimed to be a G-d and claimed to make the Nile
A crocodile could smile and show his teeth
You could see beauty shining externally but that's the story of Greece
Inside America bleeds, Israel won't you get up from your knees
Its just lies in disguise Torah's truth won't you please realize
Given to the humble one on Mt. Sinai

Why can't we all just get along?