It's been only seven years since he had assumed leadership in Teves of 5773/2013. To an outsider like me it seems like Sadiger, after a slow start in Bnei Brak, was finally picking up steam. The zeide Reb Mordechai Sholom Yosef had remained in Tel Aviv, at Rechov Pinkas 41, some say at the behest of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. He had left Vienna after the anschluss and gone to Eretz Yisroel. In the 50's he came to New York. The old timers still remember his shtiebel on Crown Street.I once wrote how he was a literal melech in the old country but lost it all during the war. Thousands of chassidim all up in flames. He never really made it again.
The son Reb Avrohom Yakov (the 3rd) stayed in New York after his father left and ran the shul in Crown Heights. Later, he built Yeshivas Ruzhin/Sadiger in Bnei Brak, and moved his court there when his father passed away in 1979. So there were two Ruzhiner Yeshivos in EY, one Boyan and one Sadiger.
And now this. A terrible calamity for them and Klal Yisroel. Most of us were thinking that there was hope, that the treatments would help. That the tefillos would be answered!
And then this! כרעם ביום בהיר.
The previous Sadigerrer Rebbe had been ill for some time. Parkinson's, it would seem. The untrained eye would say that maybe the Israeli oylem didn't really relate to him, but then again, this is Sadiger, and like Boyan, there doesn't really need to be a relationship. They have the bittul to their Rebbe and that's that. Those that don't have that Yerushalmi streak in them, anyway. Then, two years ago, the Rebbe fell ill. Since ascending to the mantle of leadership, he had won the hearts and minds of Jews the world over. His grace and mere presence filled the room; you couldn't help but notice it.
He was a talmid of Kamenetz and Ponovizh, so the naysayers couldn't deny him, since he was a product of their yeshivos. For years he lived in London and lead the Sadigerrer shtiebel there, officially being a dayan in the Kedassia Beis Din, but I don't think he sat in on dinei Torah. Then, when his father passed, being the only son and successor in waiting, he came to Eretz Yisroel.
You might say that unlike his father he did veer a bit back toward the mainstream; whereas his late father was a fighter for the integrity of Eretz Yisroel, I searched but could not see that this was on his son's agenda. He was busy building his little vinkel and I guess could not be concerned with settlements and peace talks. OK. Sadiger seemed to have a bright future ahead of them. They had let some of the old bygones be bygones. Chaim Yitzchok Cohen was seen there again, so it looked they had made up. Meir Porush was a frequent guest as well. The shul was bright and beautiful and filled to the brim.
A little known fact about him, is that his shver was his uncle as well. R' Chaim Moshe Feldman was his shver and his mother's brother. Feldman was the son-in-law of Getzel Berger, the big Satmarer gvir who made a killing after WW2 in bombed-out London. So there's a nice mix, but I would assume that the Rizhiner within was the strongest element.
Now the rumors begin. That the the tzava'ah wasn't read because it would cause too much strife and pain among the family and chassidim. I hope this isn't the case. What we don't need now is another 5 Sadigerrer Rebbes, not with 9 freshly minted new Sanzer Rebbes now in the pool. We should discuss that at some point.
.יהי זכרו ברוך
A search of the blog for the word Sadiger brings up a slew of good posts, if I may say so myself.