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Chasidic dynasties make peace

    Two of the largest Chasidic dynasties have buried the hatchet after an estrangement lasting 32 years.

    The two leaders of the Belz and Satmar courts finally met three weeks ago at the home of the Belzer Rov Yissachar Ber Rokeach near Jerusalem, during the Satmar Rebbe Aaron Teitelbaum's visit to Israel.

    It was the culmination of a long reconciliation process between the two brothers-in-law who have not met for over three decades.

    Satmar, which is based in Monroe, New York, has led the anti-Zionist camp within strictly-Orthodox Jewry for the past 64 years.

    While the two dynasties historically enjoyed close relations, the Rabbis of Belz were more flexible regarding co-operation with the Israeli state and approved of their followers voting in elections and allowed their institutes to receive state funding. These differences caused tensions and, in 1980, Rabbi Rokeach publicly broke with the Satmar-led Eda Haredit when he set up an independent Kashrut and Beth Din organisation in Israel.

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