Tuesday, September 04, 2007

High Holy Day Box Seats: $50,000

Crossposted at DovBear.

(Great Belz Shul in Jerusalem)

YNET Reports today that a seat near the Belzer Rebbe for the High Holy Days in the Great Belz Shul in Yerushalayim costs 50 thousand dollars. Wow.
At synagogues of the hassidic rabbis' courts the prices vary according to how close they are to the admor (acronym for "our master, our teacher, and our rabbi). A reserved seat near the admor at the Belz (hassidic sect) synagogue can reach a whopping $50,000.

Synagogues are also charging for the right to read from the Torah, especially following the afternoon prayer session on Yom Kippur. Worshippers at the Vishnitz synagogue can purchase this right for no less than $50,000. A similar price will be charged from those wishing to take part in the opening of the Holy Arc ceremony at Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's Kol Nidre synagogue.

Kfar Chabad is charging NIS 60,000 ($14,500) for being the last person to be called up to the Torah and NIS 30,000 ($7,250) for being called up to the Torah for the opening prayer of the Eve of Atonement (Yom Kippur) service.
My personal shul is 1300 NIS ($310) per family...how about you?

Shana Tova,


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

I think we're 700 shekels. Our shul is REALLY small and we never have enough room. (We daven in a gan and we're about $150,000 short to build our building.) Someone always faints on the women's side during Neilah. If you don't join, you don't get a seat (for the high holidays only).

Regular Shabbatot we strongly encourage guests, but not on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur! Bummer isn't it?

Scraps said...

Good grief! That's absolutely insane, $50K?! I'm sorry, there is just no excuse for that. Not to mention, in most normal places don't the baalei tefillah and baalei kriyah get paid, not the other way around? Honestly, if people would have a seat a little further away and give the rest to tzedakah, there would be a lot more families eating well on R"H, erev Y"K, and Sukkot. Sheeshers.

Gee a Moron said...

500 shekels

I pay * 2 bcause I pay for my married son the (software developer) Navy Captain and his family as well.

baalbatish said...

I don't believe it's true. Someone should contact a macher in Belz to confirm.

elchonon said...

Why not? its a mitzva to buy aliyot and the opening of the ahron.. and so of dcourse there's competition..

And there are those that pay 50k for a car or 5k for a plasma HDTV.. if I choose to give tzedaka why should I get attacked ?

elchonon said...

50k is to sit next to the belzer rebbe... i'm sorry but if I had 50k to spare it would be a worthwhile amount to pay if I was a belzer chasid and wanted to observe my rebbe praying.. if theres 5000 chasidim all jaming to be near the rebbe so whats the big deal if they charge ?

Anonymous said...

Such exorbitant fees should discourage aliyot, unless you're a Bronfman, Perelman, or a Lauder.

Mo'ah Kemo Efro'ah said...


"My personal shul is 1300 NIS ($310) per family...how about you?"

that sounds like a lot of money for israel, no?

how much to sit next to the sheikh of hte muqata?


"honestly, if people would have a seat a little further away and give the rest to tzedakah"

i though the $ is going to tzedakah.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

MKE: It's slightly higher end, but not unheard of...especially when it goes to help pay for a rabbi's salary which doesn't come from a moetza/local municipality.

Re: scraps' point -- Giving tzedaka to a shul is not the same as putting food on the table for poor people...or donating life saving equipment to medics. $50K to a shul for a seat IMHO is insane.

And if you wanna sit next to the Sheikh of the Muqata in shul, it's gonna cost you BIG time!


elchonon said...

How do you know where the 50k goes ? belz has a HUGE shull.. whats to say that they dont charge for seats ? maybe their minhag is not to sell aliyot ?

There are many things you can purchase, yes some can run a bit high but its a mitzvah to purchase them..

This article is pathetic... jews have been buying maftir yonah for wild prices for hundreds of years...

And Yes at chabad to purchase the 1st torah at kol nidrei its expensive, its known to be a big mitzvah as specified by the baal hatanya in his sidur.

Rovin' Ricky said...

How stereotypical of the frummies, selling Jewish services at such sums. What would the anti-Semites think?

Anonymous said...

I am a Belzer Chasid.
The shul has 13 floors and is open for the public to use the facilities 24x7. ( learning praying etc.) It cost over $2,000,000.00 each year to up keep the place.( this time with a lower dollar it is much more.) So the money goes for maintenance of the shul and that is charity.

Search the Muqata


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