Gut Shabbos! It wasn’t enough that these primitives— patients Zero in the New York COVID outbreak and the polio outbreak— have wrecked Israel’s democracy, now vapid and gutless politicians are opening the door for them to wreck our own. Wait, wait… don’t tell me you don’t read the right-wing Yeshiva World News! Yesterday they reported that “The Skverer Rebbe on Thursday met with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to discuss a potential endorsement of Assemblyman Mike Lawler, who is vying for the NY-17 seat currently held by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. In the meeting, McCarthy reportedly asked the rebbe to officially endorse Lawler, citing former President Trump’s support for his community and noting that Lawler in Congress with himself as Speaker would be greatly beneficial to the Skver community.”
Never heard of any of this Skverer stuff? Imagine living Beyond the Pale (Ukraine) in the early 1800s in a town near Kyiv called Skvyra (Skver in Yiddish). Skver is the name of a Hasidic hereditary dynasty founded by Rebbe Yitzchok Twersky in Skvyra in the middle the 1800s and today the dynasty’s followers call themselves Skverer Hasidim. Want more detail? The founder, Rebbe Yitzchok— (AKA Reb Itzikl) was one of the eight sons of Rabbi Modechai, the Maggid of pre-nuclear Chernobyl— and he had married the daughter of Skver’s first rabbi, Rabbi Hershele, a direct descendant of the Baal Shem Tov (the Besht, the founder of Hasidic Judaism in the early 1700s). Today there are 3 branches of the Skverer dynasty. David Twersky is the rebbe of one headquartered in New Square. Yechiel Michl Twersky, son of the late rebbe David Twersky, is the rebbe of another. Yitzcok Twersky, son of the late rebbe Mottel Twersky is the rebbe of a third.
There were about 200 Jews living in Skvyra in 1784 but almost 9,000 a century later, half the town’s population. There were a couple of deadly pogroms in 1917 and most of the Jews who weren’t killed fled to Kyiv and Odessa. The Nazis murdered the rest during WWII. In 2009 there were 120 Jews living Skvyra. Today they live in and around New Square in Rockland County, New York (part of Mondaire Jone’s district, which has been recently appropriated by Sean Patrick Maloney).
Anyway, Biden had beaten McCarthy to the punch, having phoned the Vizhnitzer and Skverer Rebbes asking for their endorsement of the Democratic candidates. “The meeting with McCarthy comes just a day after a flyer ostensibly endorsed by the Skverer Rebbe urged chasidim to vote for both Gov. Kathy Hochul and Rep. Maloney.”
The Yeshiva World News is urging its readers to go against the Skver and Satmar dynastic leaders and vote straight-line Republican and also insinuating that the Skver rebbe’s endorsement of Maloney isn’t “final.”
Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman jumped into this yesterday, reporting that “The ultra-orthodox communities of upstate New York and New York City follow the word of their rabbinical leaders closely. New York politicians such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer keep a close alliance with the various Hasidic sects in the state, such as the Satmar and Skverers. Ultra-orthodox Jews backed former President Donald Trump in large numbers in 2016 and 2020. But they have also backed Democrats including Schumer and former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. These sects tend to vote in a bloc… McCarthy met the Skverer rabbi with the intention of getting him to reverse his endorsement. A source close to the matter told us that Republicans believe they can get the rabbi to change his backing– even as late as Monday or Election Day… In the meeting, McCarthy reportedly asked the rebbe to officially endorse Lawler, citing former President Trump’s support for his community and noting that Lawler in Congress with himself as Speaker would be greatly beneficial to the Skver community.”
Generally, while some— but by no means all— Democrats are increasingly exasperated by the unadulterated and basically unchecked corruption in the Hasidic community (especially the brazen theft of taxpayer funds), the Republicans have uniformly told them they can do whatever they want without any worries of the GOP interfering in any way.