Thousands of Viznitz Hassidim expected in Bnei Brak for holidays

Thousands of Viznitz Has

hassidim praying 248 (photo credit: )
hassidim praying 248
(photo credit: )
A humongous hangar that will serve as a house of prayer for the holidays has been constructed in Bnei Brak to accommodate between 6,000 and 7,000 members of the Viznitz Hassidic movement. For the first time, visitors from the various Viznitz centers in Israel and from cities around the world such as New York, London and Antwerp, men and women alike, will be able to spend the holidays with their leader, Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager. The 3,000-square-meter hangar will be equipped with a huge 800-ton air conditioning system and 180 portable toilets. In an adjacent tent, tons of cake and gallons of coffee and tea will be served to anyone who has reserved a seat. Prices for seats range from NIS 1,800 for places close to the rebbe, to NIS 300 for the most outlying seats. Viznitz owns a hotel in Bnei Brak, which will host some of the visitors, but many will be put up in a girls' school next to the hangar. A trailer that will house the rebbe has been placed next to the eastern side of the hangar, where the Torah ark is located. Hager will make appearances during select parts of the prayer. The event was organized by Rabbi Israel Hager, Hager's oldest son, and it is considered a demonstration of his dominance within the Viznitz hierarchy of leadership. Since 2001, when Israel Hager returned to the movement after an 18-year exile, a power struggle has raged between the oldest son and his younger brother Menachem Mendel to determine who will be the next heir. According to rumors within Viznitz, Israel Hager was banished after his wife did not get along with his mother. Moshe Hager, who lost his mental faculties due to sickness and old age several years ago, is unable to intervene in the power struggle. After Gur, Viznitz and Belz are considered the largest hassidic movements in Israel. United Torah Judaism MK Menahem Eliezer Moses is a representative of Viznitz and is very close to Israel Hager, whose loyalists are estimated to make up between 70% and 80% of the hassidic movement Viznitz numbers about 4,000 families in Israel and another 500 families abroad. Two related hassidic movements - Seret-Viznitz and Viznitz Monsey - are independent of the Viznitz leadership.