On February 21, the Supreme Court struck down the so-called Tal Law, under which ultra-Orthodox men studying at yeshivas were granted a draft exemption. Concurrently, an equally auspicious event, from the viewpoint of the Haredi community, was held. This one was a surprise meeting between the two leaders of the ultra-Orthodox courts from Belz and Machnovka.
The meeting was the result of conciliatory efforts between the Belzer Rebbe and the Satmar Rebbe - the latest episode in a soap opera that has riveted hundreds of thousands of Haredim around the world since last January. The protagonists are the Belzer Rebbe, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokach, and his brother-in-law, the head of the Satmar sect, Rabbi Aharon Teitelbaum. They lead two of the largest Hasidic courts in the world, they are both 64, and they are both married to daughters of Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, the head of the Vizhnitz Hasidic dynasty and a wholesale producer of daughters for Hasidic courts (a third daughter is also married to a rebbe ). The two sisters, Sarah Rokach and Sasha Teitelbaum, played a key bridging role.